The Stranger (2015)
“Blood will tear us apart”
The Stranger (2015)
Director: Guillermo Amoede
Cast: Cristobal Tapia Montt, Lorenza Izzo, Luis Gnecco
Synopsis: A mysterious man arrives in a small American town seeking his wife, though his presence plunges the community into a bloodbath.
Chile doubles as Canada in The Stranger, Uruguayan director Guillermo Amoedo’s lukewarm horror flick which follows – but adds nothing new – to the recent trend for showing vampires in a sympathetic light. Cristobal Tapia Montt is Martin, the titular character who pitches up in a small town one night looking for a woman from his past named Anna (Lorenza Izzo – Aftershock, Knock Knock). Quite why he’s looking for her isn’t really explained, although it appears that Martin spent the time since they parted scouring the world for his fellow, less human-friendly, vampires, in order to wipe them out. As Ana was also a vampire, it’s not unreasonable to assume he was planning to knock her off before killing himself, thus ensuring the end of the vampire line.
It turns out that Ana committed suicide by exposing herself to sunlight shortly after giving birth to Peter (Nicolás Durán), who’s now a seventeen-year-old graffiti artist who witnesses Martin being savagely beaten to death by local thug, Caleb (Ariel Levy – Aftershock) and his friends after giving him directions to Ana’s grave. Caleb just happens to be the son of local police chief De Luca (Luis Gnecco), so not only is he not arrested for Martin’s murder, but he knows that Peter fingered him and wants revenge.
Although Eli Roth receives a ‘presents’ credit above the title of The Stranger, it lacks his trademark gore, opting instead for a more sober approach which sees only sporadic moments of fairly lightweight blood-letting and violence – although it’s still strong enough to earn The Stranger an 18 rating. Despite the fact that vampires have a major part to play in the plot, The Stranger is more like a crime drama than a horror for much of its running time, with corrupt cop and seriously misguided concerned parent De Luca shouldering a fair chunk of the dramatic burden. De Luca gives a reasonable performance, but the movie is plagued by some amateurish actors struggling to deliver poor dialogue with conviction, and the plot has too many plot holes. The Stranger leaves itself open for a sequel, but most people won’t care, and those few who do shouldn’t hold their breath…
(Reviewed 15th January 2016)