Yet, unfortunately for her, the effort to best an original animal like India will always be futile. If there is a horror element in “Stoker,” it is this (apologies to folks who are adamant the film was vampiric). As mentioned in the film’s beginning, which later reveals itself to be a part of the ending, India is present because she is the sum of her father, mother, and uncle—nothing the world has ever seen. Perhaps Charlie isn’t only liberating India; he’s also presenting biology with a new creation.

To regard India’s coming-of-age as inhuman is to pick up clues relating to Park’s “animal vision” for the film. There’s no reliance on nostalgia; if anything, it’s a curse that assumes the form of taxidermied animals around the house. The film is graded in either lilac or pale lavender, denoting an unusual way of seeing the surroundings—think a snake’s dichromatic vision—instead of the visuals of teen-aged memories. The road to growth also lies exclusively in observation through self-initiation from India or Charlie’s constant prompting.

There’s also the film’s other ending—not filmed for reasons unstated, but perhaps for the best because of its visuals. According to Park, viewers will see where India is heading with her Jaguar—her late father’s apartment in New York, the one meant for Charlie. She then pulls out her rifle, looks through its scope, and “hunts” passersby below. Again, despite the personal restraint to name any particular animal for the characters, Park said, “My idea behind [India’s] final transformation was that she grew into a bird of prey … [At this point] I think she has surpassed mankind or human ethical principles.”

Such an affirmation from the filmmaker has transformed, or corrected, the distant feeling I initially felt into one that I should have always hosted. The Stokers live in a gilded cage; the film’s “Do Not Disturb the Family” tagline might as well be “Do Not Disturb the Animals.” To be certain that the DNA of “Stoker” is both about becoming an adult and reaching the imago stage—this is the interpretation that sets me free.

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