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Stoker Chan-wook Park, Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Nicole Kidman, Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver, Lucas Till, Alden Ehrenreich, Phyllis Somerville, Ralph Brown,

Stoker: when a young girl’s close father dies, his mysterious brother appears – a charming, yet mysterious character that she slowly becomes besotted with. Being a ChanWook Park movie, this has his stamp all over it – meticulous direction and framing, packed with striking, bold, elegant, and often haunting visuals. It’s a richly textured film, full of vivid colours, fabrics, designs, and patterns – ultra-visual cinema. Story-wise, it’s a relatively simple three-hander, focusing on layered and complex characters – that unravel, and become more intertwined as the events unfold. Perhaps because it’s a coming-of-age movie, it sticks out as being very level compared to previous works, shying away from the drama and (sensational) gore that director is used to providing, instead coming over as delayed intensity. Written by an actor, and directed by one of the world’s greatest – Stoker is a unique beast where the Korean director appears to be anticipating any ‘lost in translation’ moments from the script, by emphasizing the focus the universal visuals – you could watch this in any language and still make full sense of it. An immersive, throwback Hitchcockian thriller.

Score: 7.5/10

Stoker Chan-wook Park, Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Nicole Kidman, Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver, Lucas Till, Alden Ehrenreich, Phyllis Somerville, Ralph Brown

The Woodsman: The story of a (potentially) reformed child molester being re-located beside a school is never going to win over the mainstream. Not being content with that this further shuns audiences with its very slow pace and low-rent, no-frills style. The main characters are all are completely damaged, making them difficult to connect with, but adding shocking realism. On the happy side, the actors in this tear the house down with their performances – not lest Kevin Bacon, who gives us an unquestionable career highlight. His missus, Kyra Sedgwick, keeps the ball up in the air and Even Mos Def refuses to drop it, pulling out some top drawer action. The paedophilia theme means that this throws up some of the hardest scenes you’ll ever watch, especially the one on the park bench – if you don’t see that through your fingers you have no soul! Difficult one to watch, but it’s always good seeing a big hitter take on, and nail, such an ill-advised role.

Score: 5.5/10