Most Anticipated 2013 Films 5 of 10: Stoker

This is the second of my anticipation list that involves a Korean director branching out into American cinema. In this case it is the man behind the immaculately stylish, thoroughly dark and beautifully made Vengeance Trilogy, Park Chan-Wook.

As those of you unlucky enough to know me personally, the second of the Vengeance films, Oldboy, is one of my favourite films – I was convinced it was a masterpiece from the first time I saw it. Like many other geeky film types, it was my gateway into checking out lots of other Korean flicks.

I reckon Oldboy is a virtually flawless film; Plot, acting, style and soundtrack all coming together to create a really enveloping, atmospheric and satisfying experience. If you haven’t seen it I won’t say any more, you should really go and watch it now, be warned though, it is a bit on the tough side, especially if you are a marine cephalopod.

Oldboy is currently being re-made by Spike Lee and I can’t say I’m all that excited about it, but in the interest of full disclosure it is supposed to be out towards the end of the year. If I was writing a ‘Most worried about films of 2013 list” it would be on it.

Aside from Oldboy the rest of Park’s films exhibit the same flair, style and focus on storytelling, albeit usually in quite a dark vein. Even his lighter ‘kids film’ I’m A Cyborg But That’s OK contains what you would have to describe as a massacre sequence, as well as quite a lot more yodelling than you might be expecting. In a potentially interesting aside: I went to see the first UK screening of I’m A Cyborg But That’s Ok at Warwick Arts Centre, Park was there and did a Q&A afterwards – I made a vague attempt to say hello to him as he was leaving, but he was having none of it. Probably just as well that I didn’t try to get him to sign that hammer.

Anyhow, Stoker, based on a script by the bloke out of Prison Break I am told, looks to be shaping up nicely as a creepy, gothic tale of murder, mystery and dodgy uncles. From the trailer it looks like Nicole Kidman is thankfully operating in the mode of Birth and Dogville rather than Eyes Wide Shut or, god help us all, Trepass.

I’m not sure if the title is something of a hint as to exactly what is going on, Park has touched on that sort of potential territory with the visceral, poetic Thirst and Stoker looks to share some of that films feel and themes, if not plot.

All in all, should be ace.

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