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Stranger by the Lake(L'Inconnu du Lac)

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France · 2013
1h 37m
Director Alain Guiraudie
Starring Pierre Deladonchamps, Christophe Paou, Patrick d'Assumçao, Jérôme Chappatte
Genre Drama, Thriller

It's summertime at the popular cruising spot for men, tucked away on the shores of a lake. Franck quickly falls in love with Michel, an attractive, potent, and lethally dangerous man. Although he knows this, he decides to live out his passion anyway, leading to potentially life-threatening results.

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What are critics saying?


Variety by Boyd van Hoeij

This is essentially an absorbing and intelligent exploration of queer desire spiced up with thriller elements.


Slant Magazine by Diego Semerene

Alain Guiraudie's film portrays cruising as a danger-seeking and astoundingly repetitive affair, intimately linked to death itself.


The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

Guiraudie creates an ambiance of eerie atmospherics that is at once crisp and observant, and oddly dreamlike, or nightmarish.


Time Out by Keith Uhlich

Though Stranger by the Lake leans a bit too heavily on its long-take, slow-cinema bona fides, there’s a clear purpose to Guiraudie’s rigorous perspective. He’s out to unearth the very potent (and often terrifying) emotions underlying every explicit act, sexual or otherwise.


Village Voice by Melissa Anderson

Stranger abounds with precision and detail, evinced not just in the spectacular visual composition but also in the observation of behavioral codes in carnally charged spaces.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

The tired old trope "erotic thriller" does no justice to how confrontationally and explicitly sexual this movie is — nor how thrilling, nor how menacing and complex.


The Dissolve by Scott Tobias

Even when the plot kicks in and the stakes get raised, there’s a casualness to Guiraudie’s approach that’s singular and admirably defiant of genre expectations. He’s setting a scene. Tension insinuates itself later.

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