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Park Chan-wook’s first American film marks the arrival of a great new Hollywood talent. Lets remember after all that many of Hollywood’s greatest directors weren’t Americans – Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang etc – and I think what made those filmmakers great was their ability to look into America from an alternative perspective.

stoker 1

Park Chan-wook brings his exaggerated style and obsession with the morbid to a new audience with Stoker, and it’s one of the most exciting things I’ve seen in a while.

Stoker tuns out to be something like an early Tim Burton film: Dark, funny, and stylish.

Park Chan-wook is a very visual director. Talented and confident, he plays Stoker at a heightened, theatrical level. Editing is rhythmic and acting is perfectly timed. Stoker is more of a film where you go away remembering camera angles, bold cuts, and facial expressions rather than lines of dialogue.

In other words, Stoker cuts away the redundancy of modern Hollywood and tells a story through the medium of film.

And while it’s both dark any funny, it’s still pretty controlled. Remember when Park’s previous effort Thirst started off all dark and intriguing and then became a zany farce? Yeah none of that here. Just a very entertaining film about deep, dark desires.

A mention should be made of editor Nicolas De Toth, who comes of the back of mediocre blockbusters like Terminator 3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine to make an absolutely outstanding contribution here. Likewise, Clint Mansell deserves a hand – a composer who is fast becoming a favourite of mine.

Overall, Stoker comes very highly recommended.

Viewed at: Cineworld Wood Green

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