Wenworth Miller – star of Prison Break and Resident Evil: Afterlife – wrote a script called Stoker under the pseudonym Ted Foulke. That piece of trivia’s worth noting, since in the actual film, the character responsible for bringing out the ugliness hidden beneath a family’s refined exterior is one Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), a handsome and unassuming man who leads a dual existence of his own.
Goode has gone the two-faced route before with mixed success, in such films as Brideshead Revisited and Watchmen. Judging by the trailer for Stoker, however, Charlie could be his most Hitchcockian (and intriguing) performance to date.
Stoker is the English-language directorial debut of Park Chan-wook, who plumbed the depths of human depravity in the cult classic Oldboy and vampire tale Thirst. There were once rumors circulating that Stoker is also a drama about literal blood-thirsty creatures of the night, and the trailer makes it obvious why (the titular reference to the author of Dracula aside).
In the trailer, we see Charlie easily woo his morose niece India (Mia Wasikowska) and her begrudging mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman) – both ‘mourning’ the loss of their father/husband (Dermot Mulroney) – despite differences in physical and mental age. The character wouldn’t require much tweaking in order to convince as an immortal monster prowling on those of the opposite sex (whose blood still runs through their veins).
Wenworth has said Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of the Doubt was “the jumping off point” for Stoker. The two share similarities in setup – both revolve around a young woman whose dull existence is interrupted by the exotic ‘Uncle Charlie’ – but Stoker is an even darker psycho-sexual drama wrought with murder and treachery, set in a more embittered and disillusioned world than Hitchcock’s Noir classic.
The trailer cobbles together haunting, yet beautiful, imagery from Chan-wook’s film that’s reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Expressionism. Such overt visual symbolism and darker color palates have been present throughout Chan-wook’s work to date, so the idea of him emulating the ‘Master of Suspense’ (as seems to be the case with Stoker) makes sense.
Rounding out the cast of Stoker are such people as Lucas Till (X-Men: First Class), Alden Ehrenreich (Twixt) and Oscar-nominee Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom). Look for the film in theaters on March 1st, 2013.
Source: iTunes Movie Trailers
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