When I first heard that one of my favourite directors was leaving his native Korea to make an English language film I was excited but also as worried as when I heard Spike Lee was remaking Oldboy. My worry grew when earlier this year Kim Ji-woon’s US debut The Last Stand failed to live up to his back catalogue. In Stoker though, director Park Chan-wook has created a film which I believe can sit happily alongside his previous films. Stoker is unmistakably a Park Chan-wook film and he has lost nothing in translation. It is as dark and stylish as you’d expect from the director of Thirst and I’m a Cyborg and features a typically bold and beautiful colour palate.
Following the death of Richard Stoker, his enigmatic younger brother Charlie (Matthew Goode) comes to stay with his wife Evelyn (Nicole Kidman) and teenage daughter India (Mia Wasikowska). Uncle Charlie was previously unknown to India as he was never mentioned by her father. India is slow to accept Charlie into the family but a tender bond slowly forms between the two cold and indecipherable people. India remains apprehensive though and Charlie’s motives for the sudden visit remain unclear.