Part-Gothic drama and part-Hitchcockian thriller, Stoker (2013) is a stylish and beautifully choreographed film scripted by Wentworth Miller and directed by South Korean director Park Chan-Wook. After his acclaimed Vengeance trilogy – Sympathy for Mr Vengeance (2002), Oldboy (2003), Lady Vengeance (2005) – and Thirst (2009), this is the director’s first English language film. Following the accidental death of her father in a bizarre car crash, troubled 18 year-old India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) retreats to the isolation of the family mansion to live with her depressed mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman). The unexpected arrival of Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) whom India meets for the first time turns her life upside down.
Like in most of Park Chan-Wook’s films, music takes centre stage with an eerie modern classical soundtrack mostly composed by British musician Clint Mansell (b. 1963) with also a contribution from Philip Glass and indie artist Emily Wells. A regular collaborator of Darren Aronofsky – Requiem for a dream (2000), The Fountain (2006), Black Swan (2010) – Clint Mansell has also scored several notable independent films such as Duncan Jones’ Moon (2009) or Massy Tadjedin’s Last Night (2010).
Seamlessly weaving orchestral pieces with piano, electric guitar, percussion and electronica, Clint Mansell’s score constantly mirrors the dark, disturbing and creepy atmosphere of Stoker and the sinister psyche of its three main characters.