(Edit: I have now seen the film, and as for how right I was…
…well, I won’t spoil it for you.)
…and naturally, while I wait until Friday (or more likely Saturday) to go and see it, I shall attempt to figure out what will happen in the film, judging by the trailer and what I’ve read of the reviews that have emerged so far, which make me even more excited.
So far, what’s been officially given to us is as follows: India Stoker’s father, Richard, and her best friend die in a strange car accident. India and her mother, Evelyn, are understandably rather cut up about this. Also they don’t exactly have the greatest bond between mother and daughter that there ever has been or ever will be, so India is left bereft by the loss of her beloved dad, and puts a blank face on everything, just like she did in Alice in Wonderland. ( Or rather just as Mia Wasikowska did; this is the first and last joke I’ll make about that film, I swear.)
Then, on the day of the funeral, who should turn up but Uncle Charlie.
Wait, who? Ah, it turns out Richard had a brother that he never told India about (whether he told Evelyn is still unknown as of yet) who’s attractive and charming and who, in no time at all, has moved into the Stoker home for an undefined amount of time. To the delight of Evelyn, who he seems to be getting closer to than is at all appropriate, and to the disgust of India.
So far, so good. Now to begin to theorise what might happen next, judging on what I’ve gleaned from the good old internet; potential spoilers abound beyond, folks.
From the shots of Charlie and Evelyn kissing, I think it’s safe to say that Charlie seduces Evelyn. Which appears to offend the house keeper, since she leaves without notice. (Ominous much?) The rest of the town seems to find out as well, or at least guess, since at some point Aunt Gwendolyn pops over with flowers to tell her sister something to the effect of ‘people are starting to talk, get him out of your house’. Possibly she knows something rather more disturbing about Charlie than she’s letting on. We won’t get the chance to find out, since Charlie corners her in a telephone booth in the dead of night and does who knows what to her.
Certainly not me; it sounds painful.
Does India witness this as well? Unlikely, but not entirely improbable.
Meanwhile India’s being bullied at school, getting taunted by really bad puns. (I mean, honestly, ‘Stroker’?) Possibly this happens a few times before she gets fed up and stabs a blonde tormentor with her pencil, hard enough to draw quite a bit of blood. It gets her into a more rebellious, savage frame of mind, resenting the fact that she’s getting labelled for what her mother’s done.
There’s a part of the film that could be very intriguing: India and Charlie are playing the piano together during the daytime, and get…quite close. Really close. Then, later on in the evening, Evelyn flirts with and dances with and kisses (or, more likely, Charlie allows her to kiss) him. India spies on them.
Charlie knows she’s there.
Does this confirm her suspicions? Does this make the daughter jealous of her mother?
In any case, India defies the quiet lifestyle that she’s had up until now; she sneaks out in a white dress for an afternoon, verging into evening, with her fellow teenagers. Motor bikes are involved At first it goes fine, but then she ends up walking over rail road tracks through the woods with a boy. They’re friendly at first, chatting and so on. Possibly she’s a bit awkward. Then he tries to kiss her, grabbing her to him.
She doesn’t want that. She fights back. She tried to run away, possibly she hurts him and he hurts her. At some point she gets hold of a mobile – maybe she brings one with her, or she takes the boy’s – and calls home. Charlie picks up. For lack of anyone else, she tells him what’s happening. He sets out to help her.
Then the boy catches up. Somehow he subdues India, perhaps grabbing her leg to pull her down in the process, and, judging by one shot as he unfastens his trousers, is going to force her to have sex with him.
But Charlie stops him, wraps a belt around him to restrict his breathing, brings him to the ground. Whatever they do next, the boy’s limp and in a blanket over Charlie’s shoulder.
They bury him. Alive, dead, who knows yet, but soon he’s under the earth
They get back to the house. India takes a shower, washing off the mud that the struggle and digging a hole for the body got on her. She’s either just watched a boy be killed, or actually participated in his murder. She’s certainly helped to hide a body. It’s a terrifying and overwhelming experience.
Next morning, the sheriff comes round to question her about the boy’s disappearance, since he was last seen with her. Charlie again comes to her rescue, shoring her up against the enquiries. They satisfy the sheriff. For now. He’ll be back.
Charlie and India are now bound together, in a strange, twisted way. She owes him. He came to save her. Both of them know where the body’s buried.
I think we’ll come to realise – if we haven’t already – that this boy, Aunt Gwendolyn, and the housekeeper (who India will, at some point, find in the freezer; who else could it be?) aren’t even the first people that Charlie’s killed.
And he thinks that India should follow in his footsteps.
As she grows more intrigued and seduced by her uncle, India will metamorphosis into another being. Charlie puts high heeled shoes on her, where before she only wore sneakers. Perhaps the incident with the pencil occurs around here, instead of earlier – after burying a body in the woods, how hard can it be for her to stab somebody for insulting her? Aunt Gwendolyn might be dealt with here as well, and we’ll be suitably disturbed at how undisturbed India is by this. And as for what she might or might not have done to that cop who pulls her over…
But there’s something that Charlie didn’t teach her as well, something that India learned from her father – how to shoot.
Evelyn, meanwhile, is getting jealous as Charlie plays mother and daughter against one another. She grows more yet more unstable, burning furniture in the backyard. She confronts India with that delightful little speech in the trailer, furious at her daughter for taking her lover from her.
Eventually, Charlie might just get tired of the situation – but are the two women that he’s manipulated and controlled up until this point still going to cooperate?
I think not.
I am so very excited, people. I long to see this film, and how right or wrong I might be proven.