In Stoker, Girlhood Blooms into Violence

In Stoker, Girlhood Blooms into Violence
Puberty is sex and sex is murder in Stoker, a Hitchcockian stew of hothouse familial jealousy, sadism, and psychosis all tied together by one teenage girl's homicidal coming of age. Psychosexual imagery permeates every inch of renowned South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook's stateside debut. A blood-tipped pencil, or water dripping between a young girl's shoes: These sights resound with over-the-top connotations suggesting danger in her carnal awakening. They coalesce into a portrait of femininity as a lethal and alluring force—and something, as Park seems to see it, to be celebrated as a source of power.

The roots of that flowering are found in a cracked love triangle. Its corners: recently widowed Evelyn Stoker (Nicole Kidman), her deceased husband's out-of-now...
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