Park's methodical but tonally uneven direction too often eschews luridness; it's as if he can't decide exactly how far to push his material into the loopy. Still, his assured and evocative camerawork intimates that peril lurks everywhere, and there's an alien quality to its performances and dialogue that suggests a world slightly unhinged.
The movie starts at the funeral for Mr. Stoker. That leaves his introverted teenage daughter (Mia Wasikowska), his troubled wife (Nicole Kidman) and Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), who shows up from obscurity. And the creepy, fatal games begin. Who's killing and why? While some things about the direction and cinematography are compelling, the slow pacing and ultimately silly story keep it from having the socko effect that was desired. Interesting coincidence: Harmony Korine (director of "Spring Breakers," which opened here this weekend) has an almost invisible part in this film as the art teacher.
**** ANGLE: Some handsome men, but no flesh and no fun.