Stoker

Thoughts on, and a place to discuss, the plot details we can't reveal in our review.

Stoker frankly works better as coming-of-age metaphor than as literal narrative. Taken at face value, the film doesn’t always make sense, whether it’s because people somehow don’t realize that there’s something profoundly off about creepy, unblinking Matthew Goode, or because of heavily freighted imagery like the spider silently slipping up Wasikowska’s stocking and under her skirt, which never has a specific narrative payoff. And then there’s Wasikowska’s apparently imaginary passionate piano duet with Goode, or the ridiculously overmannered way Nicole Kidman expresses herself, as if she’s the last fading hothouse flower in a particularly overripe Tennessee Williams play. Or for that matter, the way Goode keeps murdering people, with minimal consequences. The entire film plays out more as a gothic-tinged story of dark, lurid sexual awakening, in which Wasikowska blossoms from stunted, near-mute, sullen child to an expressive and actualized adult practically overnight. It’s an experience more than a story, but it’s a remarkably intense and masterfully executed experience, for those who can give in to what the film is trying to do.