Friday, 27 April 2018

Stoker (2013)

India Stoker's father dies in a car accident on her 18th birthday.  At the wake, she meets his brother Charlie for the first time; an uncle she never knew she had.  She's far from initially receptive to the new family member, especially when he moves into the sprawling house she shares with her mother and shows little inclination to leave.

And yet, even as evidence mounts that Charlie is bad news, India seems to warming to him ...

To be honest, I only own Stoker because I wanted Black Swan and it was cheaper to get it in this two pack.  So I knew nothing about the film going in.  Overall, I wouldn't recommend it, except possibly for students of acting or cinematography.  Because the performances here are strong, and the visuals are often excellent.

Unfortunately, the story is the issue here.  Not the basic premise, which is workable enough, but the specific execution that it's given here.  There's rather a lot of contrivance required to make things work, and the absence of a sympathetic character (barring one briefly appearing secondary cast member) means the script needs to work a lot harder than it actually does.  When you're invested in the characters, you can ignore or paper over the cracks in the plotting.  When you're not, things can crumble very easily.

With a better script, this could be excellent.  As it actually is, however, I can't really recommend it.

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