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Stranger by the Lake

Drama . Thriller . Romance

Summertime. A cruising spot for men, tucked away on the shores of a lake. Franck falls in love with Michel, an attractive, potent and lethally dangerous man. Franck knows this, but wants to live out his passion anyway.

Actors: Pierre Deladonchamps , Christophe Paou , Patrick d'Assumçao , Jérôme Chappatte , Mathieu Vervisch , Gilbert Traina , Emmanuel Daumas , Sébastien Badachaoui , Gilles Guérin , François Labarthe
Directors: Alain Guiraudie
Country: FRANCE
Release: 2013-06-12
More Info:
  • Liz Beardsworth

    Beautifully crafted, sinister, frightening, erotic and thought-provoking, Alain Guiraudie’s multi-faceted Cannes triumph is already one of the most provocative, intriguing films of the year.

    Empire Full Review
  • Michał Oleszczyk

    Guiraudie's directorial assurance is stunning: the entire movie is a master class in audiovisual storytelling, as well as an exemplary case of immersing the viewer in an environment. Full Review
  • 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.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Adam Nayman

    Spare, steely, sexually explicit in a way that transcends mere provocation, Stranger by the Lake is vital cinema.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Diego Semerene

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

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    The filmmaker constructs a growing sense of dread with the calculated precision of a classic horror movie.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    The mystery may be resolved, but the suspense and uncertainty remain. And so, Guiraudie ends his film on a cold, almost cruel note of existential solitude that just might, if you let it, break your heart.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • 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.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Boyd van Hoeij

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

    Variety Full Review
  • Bob Mondello

    Stranger by the Lake has become a psychosexually intriguing blend of Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window" and William Friedkin's "Cruising" — one in which sex gets intertwined with murder, fear battles desire, and the police discover that voyeurs don't necessarily make good witnesses if no one ever exchanges names or phone numbers.

    NPR Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    The movie is voyeuristic, sure, but in a way that evokes Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window" more than William Friedkin's "Cruising."

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Jessica Kiang

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

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Robbie Collin

    Guiraudie’s film is acutely brilliant on the funny, scary machinery of desire, and how easily humans can get caught up in its cogwheels.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Kevin Harley

    Sun, sex, psychosis, skinny-dipping: it sounds like genre tat, but Guiraudie’s dark, droll study of a risky attraction upends expectations. It plays by stealth, but its sly grip is sure.

    Total Film Full Review
  • 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.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • 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 Guardian Full Review
  • Jordan Mintzer

    Stranger by the Lake invites you into its alluring and peaceful world, only to gradually uncover the darkness beneath it.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Jamie S. Rich

    Stranger by the Lake is one of those vacations that’s all right while it’s happening, but the allure dissipates once you’ve gone back to your regular routine.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Stephanie Merry

    Writer-director Alain Guiraudie takes an all-natural approach to his material, and not just because most of the men spend the movie in the buff. He takes long, lingering shots, never rushes a scene and uses no score, just organic sounds.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Peter Keough

    What Stranger by the Lake lacks in suspense and back story it makes up for in atmosphere: It’s a subtle exercise in the pathetic fallacy.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    The movie is filled with graphic sex scenes that leave nothing to the imagination — this film would make even John Waters blush — but there’s more at work here than shock value and sensationalism.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Like his characters, Guiraudie is walking a tightrope, finding the point where sex and death exude a similar allure. You won't be able to look away.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Ben Kenigsberg

    As withholding as it may be in terms of narrative, Stranger places rare faith in the viewer’s visual sense. Guiraudie presents his widescreen long takes with little inflection, conjuring suspense simply from the sounds of crackling leaves and other hallmarks of the natural (or is it au naturel?) realm.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    Stranger by the Lake is seductive and fascinating, but it is also a bit trapped in its own conceit, and in its carefully maintained emotional detachment.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    Stranger by the Lake, it must be said, flirts with monotony. There is something both fascinating and numbing in the rituals on display, and in the matching rhythm of the film's approach. [27 Jan.2014, p.79]

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Stranger by the Lake has no rating, but if it had, it would earn an NC-17 ten times over.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review

  • male nudity

  • suspense

  • homosexuality

  • unsimulated sex

  • skinny dipping

  • male male kiss

  • gay theme

  • murder hunt

  • male full frontal nudity

  • ejaculation

  • explicit sex

  • unprotected sex

  • gay sex

  • gay man

  • bareback sex

  • gay friend

  • gay beach

  • gay kiss

  • fellatio

  • gay cruising

  • lake

  • nude sunbathing

  • hairy chest

  • mustache

  • gay flirting

  • gay murder

  • bare chested male

  • male rear nudity

  • oral sex

  • anal sex

  • penis

  • nudity

  • male frontal nudity

  • gay

  • summer holiday

  • anonymous sex

  • murder witness

  • murderer

  • undressing

  • police detective

  • long take

  • kiss

  • male male relationship

  • masturbation

  • blow job

  • sex scene

  • queer cinema

  • queer

  • cruising

  • killer

  • beach

  • male pubic hair

  • hitchcockian

  • parking lot

  • france

  • true to life

  • investigation

  • bald man

  • bald

  • towel

  • foot chase

  • drowning someone

  • friendship between men

  • detective

  • man in swimsuit

  • speedo

  • helicopter

  • naked on beach

  • swimming in a lake

  • nude swimming

  • death

  • outdoor sex

  • woods

  • summer

  • swimming

  • murder

  • police investigation

  • police inspector

  • 1980s

  • title at the end

  • pubic hair

  • erotica

  • covering up a murder

  • psychopath

  • platonic friendship

  • fear of commitment

  • loneliness

  • bisexual man

  • jealousy

  • car

  • serial killer

  • lying

  • obsession

  • chase

  • running

  • stabbed in the stomach

  • death by drowning

  • throat slitting

  • all male cast

  • no music during end credits

  • no music score

  • blood