2013 Running time: 98 Certificate: 18 Rating: 3

Synopsis

Korean visionary Chan-wook Park - director of the notorious Oldboy - makes his Hollywood debut with a typically unsettling psycho-thriller simmering with family secrets and sexual tension. Following her father's death on her 18th birthday, quiet loner India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) is not pleased when her mother (Nicole Kidman) invites his enigmatic, long-lost brother Charlie (Matthew Goode) to live with them. But while there's something about Uncle Charlie that India doesn't trust, she finds he brings out her deepest, darkest urges...

Director

  • Chan-wook Park

Cast

  • Mia Wasikowska

  • Matthew Goode

  • Nicole Kidman

  • Jacki Weaver

  • Dermot Mulroney

Review

Having played Alice In Wonderland and Jane Eyre, Mia Wasikowska proves the perfect choice to fill the shoes of India Stoker, a bookish high schooler with a distinctly Victorian sensibility.

When a car accident claims her father (Dermot Mulroney) on her 18th birthday, India's already strained relationship with her mother Evie (Kidman) becomes even more difficult when Richard's prodigal brother Charlie (Goode) pitches up at the funeral. India never knew Uncle Charlie existed.

Cool and mysterious, Charlie soon has the flaky Evie wrapped around his finger. Not so the Stokers' old housekeeper and his interfering aunt (Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook) whose response to the new houseguest arouses India's suspicions.

Yet she is fascinated. And when Charlie helps her deal with a boy problem at school (involving X-Men: First Class-mate Lucas Till and Beautiful Creatures' Alden Ehrenreich), the revelations that follow are shocking - though less about Charlie than India herself.

Abetted by Clint Mansell's score, the film thrums with heightened sensuality, from spiders scuttling up skirts and brushed hair morphing into swaying reeds to intense musical intercourse on a piano. But when the creeping sexual suspense finally bears its forbidden fruit, it's not what you might expect.

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