The title Stoker suggests vampirism, as a play on the name of Dracula creator Bram Stoker. But the monsters in this film are purely human — people warped into terrible shapes by neglect and jealousy.

For his English-language debut, Oldboy direcotor Park Chan-Wook chose Stoker, a script by actor Wentworth Miller that revolves around a family suffering the pain of change after a significant death. Evie Stoker and her daughter India barely have a moment to come to terms with the untimely passing of husband/father Michael, when his long-lost brother Charlie shows up. Charlie is so long-lost that the rest of the family barely knew of his existence. But it isn’t long before he has insinuated himself into the broken household, and is toying with the affections of lonely Evie and rapidly maturing India.

There’s an influence from Hitchcock – the imposition of a long-lost Uncle Charlie can’t help but conjure thoughts of Shadow of a Doubt — but Stoker doesn’t feel like a Hitchcock film at all. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel much like a classic Park film, either. There’s lush cinematography to spare, and a strikingly vivid color palette, yes. As a story or character portrait, however, Stoker is resoundingly hollow. Read More »

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Oldboy director Park Chan-Wook makes his English-language debut with the thriller Stoker, featuring Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, and Mia Wasikowska. The Hitchcockian film seems to illustrated a creepy triangle of infatuation and manipulation that develops in the Stoker family when a mother (Kidman) and daughter (Wasikowska) are caught in the thrall of Uncle Charlie (Goode), who arrives in town in the wake of the death of his brother, the Stoker patriarch.

Trailers for the film have looked good, and now we’ve got a full track excerpted from the score. Clint Mansellcreated the music for the film, and you’ll recognize his sound right away. Hear that track after the break, followed by a video of M83 recording a back and forth drum battle that will be part of the score for an action scene in Oblivion.

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While the competition and spotlight films at Sundance are usually where the best of the fest reside, the big names are in the premiere categories. 2013 is no exception. Among the highly anticipated films that will premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival are the Ashton Kutcher Steve Jobs biopic jOBSRichard Linklater‘s trilogy-closing love story Before MidnightJoseph Gordon-Levitt‘s directorial debut Don Jon’s Addiction; the latest film from the team behind Sound of My Voice, The EastPark Chan-Wook‘s thriller Stoker; and the star studded film from the writers of The Descendants, called The Way, Way Back.

And that’s just a few of the features. The documentaries include subjects like Jeremy Lin, WikiLeaks, Mariel Hemingway, The Eagles and more.

After the jump, read the full list of premieres at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Read More »

Park Chan-Wook‘s Stoker is one of the film’s we’re most keen to see in the early months of 2013; the English-language debut of the director behind Thirst and the “Vengeance Trilogy” (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) holds a lot of appeal. That’s in part due to Park’s wonderful work with the camera and actors, as seen in most of his previous films. But there’s also the appeal of him tackling a story with explicit Hitchcock references and a talented cast that includes Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew Goode, the three of whom play a strange family unit that comes together in the aftermath of a death in the family.

The first teaser poster for the film artfully brings together some of the story elements, and corrals them in a stark frame of thorny growth that aptly visualizes the characters’ twisted entanglements. Check it out in full below, along with a video showing the poster’s creation. Read More »

Music links the four pieces of news found after the jump in this article. There you’ll read about:

  • Philip Glass will contribute music to Park Chan-wook’s Stoker.
  • James Newton Howard is doing the scores for Maleficent and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
  • Hans Zimmer‘s Inception score is remixed to show the scope of the universe.

Read More »

The core of the US trailer for Stoker, from Oldboy director Park Chan-wook, was a wonderfully hateful little speech from Nicole Kidman as the threatened matriarch of the Stoker family. That speech is in this new UK trailer, but thrown toward the end, truncated, and cut up with other footage. The core here, instead, is the nature of her daughter, played by Mia Wasikowska. This trailer turns her character, India, into more of a sinister figure, and an overt threat. The effect is to heighten my already elevated interest in the film, not that it needed much help given the talent involved.

Stoker hits early next year, but you can get a new taste of it below. Read More »

It’s not a proper trailer — in fact, this is one of those irritating footage presentations on Entertainment Tonight where the talking heads yammer over the top of scenes from a film. But it is the first footage from Stoker, which marks the English-language directorial debut from acclaimed South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, responsible for Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, and Thirst.

What we see here sets up the story: Nicole Kidman is mom to Mia Wasikowska, and after the death of Mia’s father, her uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) comes to visit, and some sexual power games begin. The Hitchcockian overtones are obvious (“Uncle Charlie” being a carryover from one of Hitchcock’s most praised films, Shadow of a Doubt) but the camerawork and style are all Park, and Kidman looks like she’s giving her best work in a while.  Read More »

Briefly: The mere fact that Stoker marks the English-language debut of Oldboy helmer Chan-wook Park would’ve been reason enough to get excited about the film. But toss in the star-studded cast (Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowskia, and Matthew Goode) and a Clint Mansell score, and our anticipation levels are going off the charts. Now, helpfully, we finally know exactly when the wait will pay off.

Box Office Mojo (via The Film Stage’s Twitter) has just set a release date of March 1, 2013 for the thriller, which centers around a teenager (Wasikowska) dealing with the sudden death of her father (Mulroney) and the unexpected reappearance of a mysterious uncle (Goode). Jackie Weaver, Lucas Till, and Alden Ehrenreich also star.

Next March is already shaping up to be quite the month for moviegoers — Stoker‘s new date puts it up against Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium, while Oz: The Great and PowerfulCarrie, and Jack the Giant Killer are all set to open later that same month.

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