ARRRGH! Everything we read about Park’s English-language début, Stoker, drives us crazier and crazier to see it! If you’re as hopped-up to see it as much as we have been (check out our Top Ten Most Anticipated of 2013 list here – so far, three of the ten that we got to see were worth the wait), just check out these ten “blurbs” taken from reviews for press/reviewers that got to see advance screenings.
What a warm, nurturing mother “Evie” (Nicole Kidman) seems to be to her daughter India. (Copyright Celebquote.com)
As of this writing, Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 100% Fresh Rating, though obviously this could change. I doubt it’s going to stay that high, but you don’t start out with 100% Fresh (especially from advanced screenings) then suddenly plummet down to 41% the week right before the movie opens, so things are looking up.
This writer has read exactly one mixed review so far*, but no bad ones (and we read a LOT). Check out what these (trusted) critics have to say– I credited them and linked when I could so you could read the entire review if you’d like to. I had to quit collecting snippets after ten, due to almost getting ready to drool on my MacBook in anticipation. Wish it was in theaters now BUT IT DOESN’T OPEN TILL MARCH FIRST! GRRARRRG–OK, deep breaths, calm down here, if we waited over six months for The ABCs of Death and at least four months for Mama , we can do it for this movie (not that we have a choice). Speaking of which, hey, if you get a chance to see an advance screening or premiere, it sounds like Stoker is worth the wait in line or other pains in the ass you would have to endure to catch the movie early. Plus, we’re super-envious of you! Do you have an extra pass? Can we be your best-est friend 4-Ever?
Meanwhile, check these ten yummy appetizers out!
- Working from a script by former Prison Break star Wentworth Miller, STOKER feels like the work of someone intimately familiar with [that of] Hitchcock’s …although I wouldn’t go so far as to call this an all-out homage. The primary similarity is the young leading lady on the cusp of adulthood, mesmerized by her handsome, sophisticated, and murderous uncle….Mia Wasikowka’s India is far less a shrinking violet. Sometimes, the thing that’s most taboo and dangerous is the most attractive, and that’s an idea very much at the heart of STOKER. (JoBlo.com, Movie News review by Chris Bumbray)
- Park Chan-wook leaves the expected streaks of blood across American screens in Stoker, his English-language début about a young woman whose coming of age takes place among the corpses of family members and neighbors. Fans who have followed the Korean auteur since 2003’s Oldboy will not be disappointed, but a high creep-out factor and top-drawer cast also should attract genre fans who’ve never heard of him. (Hollywood Reporter, by John DeFore)
- Tensions continue to rise, a disturbing love triangle begins to emerge, secrets are revealed to all and that’s when Stoker really goes into some wickedly weird and wonderfully twisted territory (and to say anything more would be giving away all the wonderful surprises director Park and screenwriter Miller have woven into this haunting coming of age tale) that should undoubtedly satisfy Park’s longtime fans out there who have been waiting patiently. (‘TheHorrorChick’ for Dread Central)
- In the many years that I have been coming to this Festival, not once have I ever seen a film that floored me enough to make me want to attend subsequent viewings. I can say with certainty that Stoker is to be the first to do this. (www.heyuguys.co.uk/ Review by Ty Cooper )
- Between the florid dialogue, gallows humor, all manner of sexual suggestion, Clint Mansell’s suitably peculiar score and another eye-catching collaboration with cinematographer Chung Chung-hoon, the world of “Stoker” is one of thoroughly, giddily heightened expression and tension… the result is a nervy, pervy Hitchcock riff in its own right. (by William Goss for Film.com)
- I heard some people describe Stoker as a slow burn, but if you think this is a slow burn, then you must not understand much about behavior. So much happens in each scene, and by the time it explodes it’s glorious. Director Park Chan-wook, and it probably started with Wentworth Miller’s screenplay, crafts a fascinating study of how people behave. Mia cracks eggs to drown out funeral gossip, she draws a pattern in art class unphased by a harasser, rainwater drips on India’s shoes and forms a puddle, and did you notice how that naughty drawing paid off in the shower scene? (Reviewed by Fred Topel for CraveOnline)
- [Devotees] will see something to relish in its mix of OTT violence and gallows humour: proof that Chan-wook’s appetite for disruption hasn’t been lost in translation. …Park Chan-wook brings operatic finesse to generic material in his tight-wound, wickedly weird US début. And Mia Wasikowska nails it. (Ken Harley, TotalFilm.com)
- Start getting excited for an incredibly fun, yet perverse and, more importantly, powerful piece of work that awaits you come March 1, when this artful slice of insanity is unleashed upon screens worldwide. (Twitchfilm.com, reviewed by Sean Smithson)
- …just because the film finds weight within its dramatic elements doesn’t mean horror fans will feel neglected. STOKER has several disturbing scenes, one in particular for featuring explicit violence that leads to one of the film’s most jaw-dropping revelations. (Fangoria.com – Ken Hanley)
- Director Park also once again delivers a wonderfully mesmerizing visual masterpiece with cinematographer Chung Chung-hoon …[the reason] Stoker succeeds can be contributed to Park’s absolutely pristine attention to detail; from the stunning uses of lighting and costumes to the vivid and lush production design, every detail in the film felt purposeful and packed with emotion, demonstrating that Park’s impeccable attention to detail certainly hasn’t waned… Chung somehow manages to take even the simplest of shots – whether it be of a very awkward family dinner or blades of tall grass glistening in the glow of a setting sun, or even a small child making sand angels with an unusually devilish smile upon his face – and make them all feel like a works of art brought to life on the big screen. (The Horror Chick, Dreadcentral.com)
At least one clip from Stoker has been officially released, look for it to be posted here soon. And yup, it’s the monologue leading up to the currently notorious “I can’t wait to see life tear you apart.” line from Kidman’s frost-bitten
cu awful bitch of a mother to her daughter (Mia Wasikowska)**. That font color is supposed to represent icy-blue cold, by the way.
*We won’t name the reviewer, but we’re pretty sure he was expecting another Old Boy, and didn’t seem to care much for the “overly styled” cinematography. Yeah, yeah, whatever. Didn’t really dampen Mrs. Horror Boom’s enthusiasm too much.
**That font color is supposed to represent an icy-blue cold, by the way.
Contrary to this still from the movie, it’s not what it looks like; there are no ghostly vengeful female spirits – just human monsters.