Monday, August 12, 2013


The tagline is Do not disturb the family, but my question is, how can you disturb something so......disturbing?  You know immediately that is going to be a disturbing movie the second it begins.  Of course, it is definitely known by simply viewing the uneasy yet hauntingly beautiful trailer.

Written by Wentworth Miller, one of the stars of the television series Prison Break, Stoker tells the story of India Stoker, a young, melancholy, plane Jane of a girl who has just lost her best friend in the world, her father, in an auto accident.  While at the funeral, India meets her father's brother Charlie Stoker, whom she didn't even know even existed.  On the same day, India finds out from her uncle Charlie that he is going to be staying with her and and her mother, Evelyn, for a while.  Uncle Charlie has psychopath written all over is forehead and I knew immediately the man was up to no good.  The question that is needing to be answered is what does this man want and what exactly are his intentions.   We as the viewer are taken into the world of an extremely disturbed, upper-class family in mourning who have more layers than a 300-year old California redwood.

The imagery, speed, and tone of the movie is subtle, yet, not so subtle if that makes any sense.  Actually, once you see it, you will know what I mean.  Wentworth Miller has crafted a story laced with dark, brooding mystery and even more mysterious characters. Just to let you know, this movie is dark, very dark and I loved it!

Mia Wasikowska strays far from her breakout role as Alice in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, yet not too far.  There is so much I want to say about her character but I certainly cannot do that without spoiling this complex family drama, which I do not believe in doing.  The role was made for her.  I don't know if she as even a consideration for the part in the beginning or if it were a simple audition that won the casting director over but her portrayal of India Stoker was dead on, so to speak.  At first she is the quiet, distressed girl who keeps to herself and does not like to be touched. She's the one who sits in the back, soaked in a quiet innocence, not wanting to be noticed, not making a sound.  Another role perfectly cast was that of India's mother, Evelyn, played by the versatile Nicole Kidman.  She is grieving for a short time until Charlie arrives to help her cope with the loss of her husband, then she is betrayed and gives one of the most chilling movie speeches ever (it's at the beginning of the trailer) in an equally haunting manner. The achievement of that expression on her face is surprising to me.  I've always been a fan, always knew she was talented but that was disturbing; she....doesn't......even.......blink.  I was not real familiar with Matthew Goode.  By looking at his IMDb page, I have seen some of his movies but they did not leave an impression.  That has now changed.  However, I think I said it all before when I stated that I knew immediately he was up to no good.  Goode portrayed the cold, calculating Charlie Stoker in a total cold and calculating manner, channeling a little of the great Anthony Hopkins in the process.

I was afraid I was going to be disappointed when I first saw the trailer, but that did not happen.  The flow of the movie was slow, but it had to be to peel back all those layers these characters have.  The tagline is do not disturb the family, but please disturb your dvd player for an hour and forty minutes and soak up the intensity of the Stoker family. Then, just be glad they are not your family, or are they?

Thank you and see you at the next blog.

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