Given it’s now officially Autumn (yeah, thanks Summer), for this week’s Streamers Film Club movie we’ve gone a bit darker.  Also, this one looks like a real love it or hate it option but, hey, we can’t play it safe every week 🙂

Stoker (2013, 95mins, rated 18) is a darkly wicked suspense thriller about disturbing family secrets revealed. It’s directed by Park Chan-wook (who made the original and excellent, Old Boy) and starring ACADEMY AWARD Winner Nicole Kidman (Actress, The Hours, 2002), Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode.

Once again, you can find it here where it’s currently free to watch for existing Amazon Prime members. Enjoy.

Popcorn time

How to join in:  As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the movie or a short review in the comments section below (caution, the comments are bound to be full of spoilers).  We’ll post ours there too.  And don’t forget, if you want us to choose a specific film next week please send us your suggestions.

The official blurb reads:

STOKER is a thriller set in America. After her father’s sudden death, India’s mysterious uncle Charlie comes to stay with her and her mother. When other family members express concern about Charlie, India starts to realise he may not be quite what he seems and fears he may have sinister intentions.

Here’s what some other people thought:  

IMDB user score: 6.9/10  Empire:  5 stars  The Guardian: 4 stars

but what about you?  Let us know in the comments below…

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  1. I’m not sure what I thought about this film, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t like it.

    I can’t really work out what, if anything, it was trying to say. Being evil is genetic? Incest is okay if you’re mental? Plus it felt like Tim Burton tried to make a serious film but all the actors were still hamming it up. There were also no surprises, everything was predictable and a bit clichéd.

    Ok the plus side there were some great visual touches though.

    1. “We don’t need to be friends, we’re family”.

      Wow, where to start on this one?! Well, first and foremost – I actually really enjoyed it so I’m fascinated by your reaction. It was definitely full of clichés (big empty house, distant widow, mysterious stranger, loyal housekeeper etc etc) but it kept my interest throughout with a disconcerting mood and what I thought was spot-on pacing. Given the tone and focus on dysfunctional family it made me think a lot of the original Psycho – which is quite the compliment although I’ve just seen that it shares some themes with Hitchcock’s “Shadow of a Doubt” which I’ve not seen and I’m now keen to watch.

      I thought the first half was excellent but always feel this sort of film lives or dies on the “reveal”. Throughout the last act I was pretty much dreading the ending but I actually thought they wrapped it up pretty well. Should we cheer for India or fear for wherever she’s going? I’m going for the latter but it’s still a relatively happy ending.

      The way I took it (HEAVY SPOILERS FOLLOW…..) Charlie is a psychopath, clear and simple – the murder, delusions, obsession with his niece …if you are still looking for more justification then I worry slightly. India is, err, “borderline” – she shares some of his qualities (including being excellent at art and err cold-blooded murder) but had been controlling/repressing it or letting it out through hunting. I reckon the dad maybe noticed this and tried to help her control it – a bit like Dexter’s father in that show, and hence the hunting. The mother was really the victim – albeit not without faults but let’s put that down to grief.

      I agree it was stylish too, including the repeated scene and having the credits go backwards. Go back and watch the intro again once you’ve seen it by the way – it’s pretty interesting the second (ok, I guess “third”) time around.

      A couple of (spoiler-ific) points/question about her birthday presents. I understand the shoes she got each year were from her housekeeper (on behalf of her uncle) leading up to her 18th? As she thought they were from her dad doesn’t this mean he actually gave her nothing and never corrected her!? Maybe he’s not the saint she paints him as after all 🙂 Also, I assume the key was from the housekeeper but was this on behalf of the uncle too or just herself from her? I assumed on behalf of the uncle and that he wanted her to finally get his letters (and either didn’t know, didn’t care or plain forgot about the postmarks). However, could it have been a deliberate warning from the housekeeper to India instead? I think that makes sense too although this was all before Richard’s death if it plays out in order. I also think I may be overthinking it 🙂

  2. Sometimes I watch a film and think: “I wish I hadn’t watched the trailer”.

    That wasn’t the case with Stoker, as I was pretty mystified after watching the trailer. I knew the underlying tone was of killers in an incestual family, and it was arty.

    I wanted to know what the story was there. But I thought I’d get annoyed by the film being a little up its own backside.

    Actually I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it by the end. For the first few minutes I was thinking something bad was going to happen, was then quickly into a sense of security that the film wasn’t going to play the scary hand at all. Everything was going to be fine in terms of imagery. No scary stuff. Though the story was pretty disturbing in places.

    If you think about it too much, the bits they leave unexplained are annoying. I’m sure the housekeeper was helping Charles with presents and kept the letters for India. I only realised this later. That relationship wasn’t explained at all. But not everything has to be. I knew the first thing she’d pull out of the drawer would be a pistol. Predictable.

    Having both him and her read the letters to us was a nice touch. It confused me at first(!)

    What really made this film was the acting and the visuals. Goode is a brilliant actor. Everyone else seemed to do ok, but I’m not entirely ever sure how I feel about a melodramatic Kidman… It worked in the penultimate scene I thought. Very dark. The visual touches were spot on for me, though the metaphors were too clearly signposted, and some were too Freudian for me. “Arty.”

    I’m intrigued by the idea of watching the start again. Not sure I think too much more will fall into place after watching it though. But I’m about to go and do it.

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