Dir. Guillermo Amoedo
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
Mesmerizing from start to end, THE STRANGER is a film that is one of a kind. Playing on the vampire mythos with a twist in a style of it’s own, the wandering traveller in the title role is as mysterious as he is enigmatic. From the outset, this film feels like something different and continues to do so as the rambling man searches for his lost love only to find some new acquaintances in a journey that doesn’t quite play out as he expected.
After a random knock on the door, Peter (Nicolas Duran) and Monica’s (Alessandra Guerzoni) life takes an unusual turn as a strange buddy relationship blossoms between the young Peter and the Stranger, Martin (Cristobal Tapia Montt) after an attack from the local law enforcers son, Caleb (Ariel Levy). The stakes begin to rise as the local Lieutenant (Luis Gnecco) isn’t too keen on seeing his son in a hospital bed and begins a manhunt on the pair but the hunter soon becomes the hunted as the Stranger’s intentions soon come to the forefront of all those involved.
What drives THE STRANGER above other revenge thrillers is its A-star cast, add in genre sensation Lorenza Izzo (Knock Knock) under Guillermo Amoedo whose track record as screenwriter for AFTERSHOCK, KNOCK KNOCK and THE GREEN INFERNO is certified enough to place in firmly on the map. While the film has been made in the English language, the film’s tempo and heart is more akin to the likes of HERE COMES THE DEVIL and the early work of one Guillermo Del Toro.
While the central story revolves around the supernatural without referencing it directly, it’s the heart of its characters that make this such a unique feature. Every second of screen time dedicated to Nicolas Duran is a saddened reminder of the consequences of helping others and while Martin may be on a bloodthirsty mission, his downfall is a bittersweet aid to the lonely youth.
There’s is plenty to be said for the bloodlust and brutality of this film and while there’s plenty to sink your teeth in, it is never distracting from the central focus of the film and it makes some of the more heart wrenching moments even more powerful.
THE STRANGER restores faith in independent cinema proving that the underdog can still rival the big budget and large press coverage of the cinema big boys. Brutal, raw and savagely heartbreaking, THE STRANGER is a must see!