Dalton’s Cinema Spot- Stoker

Dalton's Cinema Spot- Stoker

Dalton Valette, Opinions Editor

R, 99 minutes

Starring- Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Nicole Kidman

2.5/ 5 Stars

What a strange, extremely artistic film this was. Stoker centers around a young girl named India (Wasikowska) whose father has recently died in a car accident. Shortly after his death, at his funeral actually, her ditsy mother (Kidman) invites her very attractive brother-in-law, Charlie (Goode) to live with them. (Hamlet much?) But, things begin taking weird turns as Charlie weaves nothing but a web of mystery with India being his fly. And then he becomes attracted to India and her mother, but this was all just an elaborate trap to get India to…wait what?

The whole movie is very confusing and riddled with unnecessary add ons to deliver a good reaction from the audience. Don’t get me wrong, I love disturbing movies. Some of my favorite movies are darkly themed such as The Silence of the Lambs and Alien. Like those films, Stoker is very disturbing with sexual content that will never let me look at Waiskowska in Alice in Wonderland the same way again. But unlike these films, there are no interesting characters, no sort of resolution, and plot holes that could have been completely avoided. The sickly dark movie made me feel melancholy when I left the theater and my eyes were burdened about what they witnessed.

This is, however, a very beautiful movie. The cinematography is superb along with the editing to create an elegant looking piece of film that mounts in suspense throughout. The acting is also very well done with Waiskowska stealing the show and proving that there is no way she will be typecast into child friendly roles. Kidman and Goode both deliver strong performances, though I could not connect with any of them remotely largely because India seems to switch personalities on the turn of a dime and has no interesting qualities while Charlie is creepy but not in an engaging way, and India’s mom is always whining and moping around with a bottle of wine in her hands.

The major issue that makes Stoker falter is that it forces the viewer to believe in so many farfetched scenarios to convey the creepiness and move the plot along.  The seemingly long film also has difficulty establishing itself into a specific time frame, which I thought was very odd. The cars, clothing, and food containers all belong in the 1950’s, but there are cell phones and then dates that say this is taking place in the 1980’s. So this weird Stoker family is just permanently trapped in the 1950’s or what? Though this did successfully rake my nerves (though not in the way one would expect) I left the theater asking myself, “What was the point of this?” And the answer is that there is none. Stoker is superbly mediocre.