Director: Guillermo Amoedo
Cast: Cristobal Tapia Montt, Lorenza Izzo, Luis Gnecco
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8.5/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
A mysterious stranger, Martin (Cristóbal Tapia-Montt), arrives seeking to kill his wife Ana (Lorenza Izzo, The Green Inferno, Aftershock) who suffers from a very dangerous disease that makes her as addicted to human blood as he is. But when he discovers that Ana has been dead for a couple of years, Martin decides to commit suicide to definitively eradicate this peculiar disease which imbues his blood with healing powers. Before he can do it, however, Martin is brutally attacked by three local thugs, lead by the son of a corrupt police lieutenant, Caleb. The incident suddenly initiates a chain reaction that plunges the community into a bloodbath.
When a mysterious stranger with a terrible secret arrives in a small town with the intention of locating his wife, his arrival sets off a bloody course of events when after learning of his wife’s passing many years prior, he allows three small town thugs to brutally attack him in an indirect suicide attempt. Believed dead and left to be buried after a local cop (the thug leader’s father) helps to cover up the attack, a young boy takes him home in an attempt to help after realizing that the stranger is shockingly still alive, although severely injured. After partially regaining himself, he leaves so as not to cause the boy and his mother and further trouble, yet when the boy himself is brutally beaten and the stranger steps in and subsequently saves his life, the real extent of his secret begins to become clear as things escalate quickly and the real trouble begins.
Written and directed by regular Eli Roth collaborator Guillermo Amoedo who additionally co-wrote Roth’s latest two films ‘The Green Inferno’ and ‘Knock Knock’ along with him, Amoedo does a fantastic job at the helm guiding his own story this time around with near perfection. The film also benefits from the talented and more than capable cast including some lesser known (yet with no smaller degree of talent) individuals including Cristobal Tapia Montt who I was previously unfamiliar with and he delivers a notable performance in the lead of role of our stranger. The cast also includes some other folks you may have seen in many of Roth’s recent directorial efforts including Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy and Aaron Burns, all of whom recently appeared together in ‘The Green Inferno’ and each delivers solid performances in each of their respective roles here in Amoedo’s fantastic film.
‘The Stranger’ is a smart, intense and wonderfully crafted horror tale. It wholeheartedly embraces the characters and the emotional connection between many of them, while providing some truly tense moments and never hesitating to take things to a brutal and at times also quite gory level as the film escalates to its powerful conclusion which I couldn’t have been more satisfied with. Overall, this is an intense, brutal and emotional horror thriller that I would highly recommend giving a shot, especially for genre fans.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Stranger’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful, delivering a sharp, detailed and gorgeous presentation as a whole, holding up remarkably even during the fast moving and darkly lit sequences (the latter of which are more common than not within the film), never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation complimented by a more that sufficient bitrate that should easily satisfy.
The Blu-ray release includes a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds pretty great, providing both a clean and fairly active audio presentation throughout, utilizing all five available channels quite frequently in order to surround the viewer with the film’s perfectly fitting score in addition to numerous suitably fitting auditory effects, more commonly occurring within the more action-oriented sequences; never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that definitely shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Stranger’ includes a few small extras. Included on the release is Guillermo Amoedo’s Short Film ‘The Fourth Horseman’ (running approximately 11 minutes) which one would assume is the basis for ‘The Stranger’ and if I’m not mistaken, all of the footage included in the short film is also integrated into the feature film. We are also treated to a short Featurette titled ‘Welcome to Chilewood’ (approximately 6 minutes) which includes interviews and comments with Eli Roth and more. A ‘Photo’ Gallery’ and both the US and Chile trailer for the film are included as well.