When a mysterious man comes to town in search of his missing wife, it doesn't take long for the local contingent of yobs to set upon him, beating the poor fellow to a pulp. Good-natured graffiti artist (the lesser of two yobs) Peter rescues the man, left for dead, and nurses him back to health back at the family home. Matters are complicated when the crooked town cop comes to finish the job and, also, said stranger is a vampire.
What starts with a depressive vampire being beaten to near death (again) escalates into a cycle of vengeance so very typical of producer Eli Roth (who's name is plastered all over the film) – namely, plenty of torture and people being tied to things while angry men commit various atrocities upon their person. Thankfully, in spite of its moody, emo aesthetic, there's a sense of maturity lacking from most Roth productions, making this the easiest to enjoy in spite of its repetitiveness.
Roth's wife Lorenza Izzo pops up in a small role as the stranger's wife, and the one sympathetic guy from The Green Inferno is there too (playing the one sympathetic guy) but otherwise, writer/director Guillermo Amoedo does a good job of putting his own stamp on the film. It's well-cast and confidently acted, with Cristobal Tapia Montt doing a sterling job as Martin (you see what they did there), managing to remain sympathetic in spite of him spending most of the film in an almost catatonic sense of sadness. The villains don't fare quite so well, descending into comic book evil by the end, even as Luis Gnecco and the script aim for nuance in their conflicted cop De Luca.
A gritty and engaging, manly action take on Let The Right One In, The Stranger is a fine addition to the ever-growing miserable vampires subgenre.
THE STRANGER / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: GUILLERMO AMOEDO / SCREENPLAY: GUILLERMO AMOEDO / STARRING: CRISTOBAL TAPIA MONTT, LORENZA IZZO, ARIEL LEVY, LUIS GNECCO/ RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW