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I won’t be the first to say it, but I think Park Chan-wook’s mystery thriller Stoker is going to be one of the bigger sleeper hits of the year, at least with critics and Park’s dementedly massive fan base. The taboos that haunt the walls of old mansions should mesh well with the substantial flash of Park’s directorial style, which never crosses into exploitation, no matter how ridiculously violent and strange his movies get. Thanks to his hyper-intense Vengeance trilogy and unique look at vampirism in 2009’s Thirst, Park is far and away the person involved with this project that will raise it above trite genre fare.
Not that the following clip, courtesy of Vulture, conveys any of that flourish, but it certainly sets its tone successfully, layering sexual tension into a situation that shouldn’t have any going for it at all. Newly widowed and not-all-there Nicole Kidman dances with estranged brother-in-law Matthew Goode, while daughter Mia Wasikowska, who begins harboring an innate crush on her uncle, watches. Does the below clip turn you on or haunt you right out of the room?
Everybody speaks in such hushed tones beneath the blaring soundtrack, so it wasn’t easy to get in the mood while craning my neck down to my laptop speaker. Maybe that’s why “getting a headache” is such a plausible excuse. I can’t wait to see what kind of introduction Goode’s mysterious uncle gets, if it leads to sexy dances and young voyeurs.
As much as I lauded Park earlier, I'm equally curious about the screenplay, written by Prison Break actor Wentworth Miller. The darker Stoker gets, the better. It’s only getting a limited U.S. theater release starting on Friday, but look for this flick to invade homes on DVD like a long-lost uncle that everyone wants to bang.