FILM: Stoker (18)

South Korean director Park Chan-wook makes his impressive English-language debut with this erotically charged gothic fairytale, which coasts along on a delicious undercurrent of menace.

Mia Wasikowska is mesmerising as sullen teenager India Stoker, whose father perishes in a freak car accident.

The teenager is consumed by grief and retreats into her fantasy world of memories, occasionally coaxed back into the land of the living by the family’s benevolent housekeeper (Phyllis Somerville).

Seductive uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), who has been abroad, returns to the fold and inveigles his way into the affections of India’s mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman).

Distrust turns to infatuation and Chan-wook chronicles his reclusive heroine’s journey of sexual self-discovery with brio and explosions of grisly violence.

Kidman thaws another ice maiden from her fine repertoire, while Goode sends temperatures soaring as the homme fatale, who delivers a piano master class that really tinkles India’s ivories.

Released: March 1 (UK & Ireland, selected cinemas), 99 mins