Film Review: Stoker (2013)

Oh. My.

How. Compelling.

This movie. This movie. Oooooh. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I do know it was very well done. It is an enthralling blend of muted, disconnected creepy, and disturbingly compelling. It’s the rare film that holds my attention so well. I’m not sure I liked all of the twists or the ending, but it was impossible to stop watching. A very well acted, stunningly directed, superbly written, horror show.

The plot follows India Stoker after her father’s death. She lives with her mother Evelyn Stoker, who doesn’t particularly care for her. The arrival of her uncle, Charlie Stoker, really shakes up their home. At first you don’t know what to make of Charlie. India and Evelyn know nothing about him, only that he’s supposedly travelled everywhere and simply never came to visit.

It’s a very atmospheric film. You see that Charlie makes people uncomfortable, that he makes India comfortable. There’s something a relative knows that she wants to tell them, but can’t. India’s mother, however, adores him. The relationship that develops between India and Charlie has an undercurrent of tension, and you don’t know what’s wrong with Charlie – or indeed if something’s wrong with India.

As the strangeness mounts at home, at school, India is continuously bullied and begins to respond, drawing both Charlie’s attention – and approval – and the attention of another boy. This event leads all three down an increasingly disturbing road.

The film is a psychological horror film with a dash of the gothic and a touch of the arthouse. I still don’t know how to feel about the twist or the ending, but I do know it’s going to be ruminating around in my thoughts for a while.

Wentworth Miller should write more films, to be sure!