It is understandable why some people have taken a really strong dislike to Stoker. Firstly, the trailer led us to believe it was going to be a very different film, moving at a much more rapid pace than it turned out to do. Secondly, the style and genre of the film is particularly unique and hard to pin down. Elements of horror swirl in and out of this mysterious family drama whilst also taking on a lot of traits of the film noir. Nevertheless, some people have been incredibly impressed and seduced by Stoker, I being one of them. The fragile performances, particularly that of Nicole Kidman’s, hold up this haunting film, along with its intelligent and enchanting script. The film’s art house feel is not overpowering and the film does not become pretentious. At a slick 98 minutes, Stoker is not at risk of dragging out or rushing the conclusion of its story. The narrative flows marvellously and allows the audience time to unravel the characters and their minds.
Mia Wasikowska has spent the last few years proving her outstanding ability to transcend deep into different characters. Stoker shows her taking her craft to another level. Her rather gothic character would risk becoming cartoon-like if it wasn’t for her conviction and astute delivery. Here, Wasikowska shows her dedication and conviction whilst her character drives the narrative forward into its fantastic conclusion. The name of the film may cast your mind to the image of Dracula and the vampire genre. Although, this is never referenced within the story, the underlying feeling of this possibly sub-plot makes this film even more entrancing and seductive. The characters are complex and intriguing, whilst the plot is surprising and eventful. The story is charismatic and inviting whilst the script adds a sense of class and suspense.
Stoker is most certainly not for everyone. Its artistic flare may cause many to grow tiresome of the ideas it suggests. Those with a love of horror and who take delight in the juxtaposition of a romantic setting where, when you take a closer look, the walls are subtly smeared with the blood of many a victim, will hopefully take as much joy from this creepy masterpiece as I did.