Thursday, June 11, 2015

Bad Blood: "The Stranger" puts one through a dull slog

The Stranger (2015)
93 min., not rated (equivalent to an R).

Unless Eli Roth is directing (and thank goodness "The Green Inferno" has just been reclaimed a theatrical release for this September), the words "Eli Roth Presents" can either be a selling point or just discouraging.  With that said, he must see something in Uruguayan writer-director Guillermo Amoedo (who co-wrote the 2013 Chilean disaster-movie "Aftershock," the upcoming "The Green Inferno" and the not-yet-released "Knock Knock" with Roth), but "The Stranger," his follow-up to 2010's "Retorno," delivers less than it promises. Far too morose and sullen for its own good, the film is just not as noteworthy as one might have hoped with Roth's approval. Humorlessness is not a deal-breaker, as some films can be bleakly effective, but 'The Stranger" is grim and pared-down to a fault, so largely uneventful that it becomes a deadly serious slog to watch. And, what's more, it's more dull than creepy. To read the rest of the review, go to Diabolique Magazine.


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