Many of us here feel “Stoker”, the English-language debut from Park Chan-wook, is a pretty big deal. After all, the South Korean director is the man behind the modern classics of the so-called “Vengeance Trilogy” (“Oldboy”, “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance”, and “Lady Vengeance”).
Even though it feels like it has been on the way for ages, “Stoker” finally has an official opening date. Fox Searchlight will release the horror thriller in the US on Friday March 1st, 2013.
After India’s (Mia Wasikowska’s) father dies in an auto accident, her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother (Nicole Kidman). Soon after his arrival, she comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives, but instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless girl becomes increasingly infatuated with him.
Based on a script by “Prison Break” star Wentworth Miller, one rumor about “Stoker” is that the uncle is a vampire of some sort. Not the pasty, cape-wearing kind, and certainly not some sparkly teen d-bag, but a nontraditional take. If this is true, then Park is staying in familiar thematic territory—his last feature, “Thirst”, was a pseudo-vampire yarn.
However “Stoker” pans out, this is a film that we’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on. So many international filmmakers turn out quality work on a consistent basis, but come to Hollywood only to tank. A number of incredible Korean directors will release their first English features in 2013. In addition to Park, next year Kim Ji-woon (“A Bittersweet Life”, “I Saw the Devil”) will unleash the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle “Last Stand”, and Bong Joon-ho (“The Host”, “Mother”) will take a stab a the post-apocalyptic genre with “Snowpiercer”. Here’s hoping they fare better than others who have made the jump to American cinematic shores.
“Stoker” also stars Dermot Mulroony, and Jacki Weaver, and is produced by Tony and Ridley Scott.