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MV5BMjI3MTM5ODI5MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjE1Mzc4OA@@._V1_SX214_What’s it all about?

Let’s ask IMDb about Stoker:

After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

You know, for once that really isn’t half bad as a synopsis. It actually bears some resemblance to the film I watched. Yes, I know, a bit sarky but I do sometimes wonder if they’ve watched the same thing I have.

Why did I want to watch it?

Spotted the excellent trailer a couple of times in the cinema last year. Uniformly positive reviews in the places that matter. It looked intriguing. Interesting cast. Suggested a modern version of Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt, right down to Uncle Charlie’s name. Couldn’t resist.

What did I think of it?

I was absolutely mesmerised from the opening that was actually a bit of the end right the way through to the actual ending. I don’t want to give any plot spoilers away though it’s kind of obvious that Uncle Charlie isn’t at all what he appears, but its exactly what he is that is worth not knowing until India herself finds out.

This is a gorgeous looking film which manages to be extremely unsettling without using (as far as I could see) any of the usual tricks in this sort of psychological thriller. The cast is absolutely brilliant, Nicole Kidman doing another one of her vulnerable ice queen types, Mia Wasikowska convincingly playing much younger than she actually is, and Matthew Goode managing to be handsome, charming and totally creepy all at once. Minor characters are all also very well cast and played.

After the movie was over I checked the BBFC website because I just couldn’t work out why Stoker had an 18 certificate. Yes, adult themes (obviously) but much less bloody and violently sexual to my mind than some 15 rated films I’ve seen recently (300: Rise of an Empire I’m looking at you) and though I’ve now had the rating decision explained to me I still think it’s strange.

Which means that I’ve possibly become become a bit warped in my middle years. It’s not a big deal, I just spent the film waiting for the shoe to drop 18-rating-wise, and it didn’t happen. For me.

(Now concerned that anyone I know who may have seen this is backing away from me slowly….)

But that is a minor issue. I really loved this film and it’s going to be on my regular re-watch list. Yes, it’s that good.