Browsing: Park Chan-Wook

Reviews stoker3

Stoker is a shiny, sparkling gem of cross-cultural kink-horror, made in America and starring big-named English-speaking actors, but blessed with the unmistakable brazen oddity of modern Korean master Park Chan-Wook. Park makes his English-language debut with this film, which is at once an acute, tender character study and the most twisted family drama to grace screens in years. You will never see the concept of “family ties” represented in quite the same way that Park presents it here, which is probably a good thing in the long run. But for the 99 minutes that Stoker flickers on the screen, it’s a sour dose of family anti-values that goes down positively sweet.


The name “Stoker” is synonymous with Bram Stoker, the 19th-century Gothic author best known for writing Dracula, the genre-redefining vampire novel. “Stoker” also has a second meaning, of course: to “stoke”, as in to encourage, to foster, or to promote. Both meanings have some relevance—the latter more than former—to South Korean filmmaker Chan-Wook Park’s (Thirst, The Vengeance Trilogy, Joint Security Area) English-language debut Stoker. It’s an ultra-stylish—if not quite ultra-violent—Southern Gothic psychological horror written by actor-turned-screenwriter Wentworth Miller (TV’s Prison Break) as a revisionist, modern-day take on the 1943 suspense thriller Shadow of a Doubt, a film many consider Hitchcock’s first stateside masterpiece.