Stranger by the Lake

Critics Consensus

Sexy, smart, and darkly humorous, Stranger by the Lake offers rewarding viewing for adult filmgoers in search of thought-provoking drama.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 96

65%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,456
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Movie Info

Frank (Pierre Deladonchamps) spends his summer days hopelessly searching for companionship at a popular cruising spot on the shores of a lake in rural France. One day, he meets Michel (Christophe Paou), an attractive yet darkly mysterious man and falls blindly in love. When a death occurs, Frank and Michel become the primary suspects but they choose to ignore the dangers and instead continue to engage in their passionate and potentially lethal relationship. STRANGER BY THE LAKE is an erotic thriller that tests the lengths and limits of sexual desire. (c) Strand

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Critic Reviews for Stranger by the Lake

All Critics (96) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (90) | Rotten (6)

  • A stunning minimalist erotic thriller that explores with arresting photography and economical use of dialogue how human identity is defined, and sometimes imprisoned, by our desires, drives, and passions.

    Mar 14, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Carefully and often brilliantly creates its own Eden-like universe.

    Mar 6, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4
  • What sets the engrossing "Stranger by the Lake" apart is that its excesses seem to point to a moral purpose beyond shock or entertainment value.

    Mar 6, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Alain Guiraudie's thriller is characterised both by its formal ingenuity and its surprisingly graphic gay sex. The plotting rekindles memories both of Patricia Highsmith novels and of Hitchcock films.

    Feb 21, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Like a wry scientist, wading through the jungle, Guiraudie notes every tiny, unwritten law. It's infectious stuff.

    Feb 21, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • A simple and ruthlessly effective exercise in minimal narrative and style, Alain Guiraudie's moral tale is so restrained and atmospheric that the nudity and graphic sex don't upstage the creepy mood of seductive, inescapable doom.

    Feb 20, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Stranger by the Lake

  • Aug 19, 2015
    In this age of instant self-service porn, it is weirdly refreshing to encounter a film that manages to shock you slightly with its direct, clean, erotic charge. This beautifully performed and very intimate thriller makes many mainstream films about sex and violence look very coarse by comparison. The superb sound design emphasizes the setting, a gay cruising beach that acts as a remote and enclosed world where circling loneliness is interrupted by sudden episodes of intense intimacy. A wonderful tale about the dangers of animal attraction and the Faustian pact of love.
    Charles B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 06, 2015
    Going into it I assumed that the homosexuality would be incidental (meaning that it was a erotic thriller that happened to have gay characters), but it's an integral part of the story and the film is all the better for it. Guiraudie moves between scenes of beauty, menace, and passion so slowly that you're never sure what's around the corner. A haunting thriller.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2014
    Excellent direction by Guiraudie outshines even the spot-on performances by Padu and Deladonchamps. An eerie masterpiece of isolation, loneliness and suspense. Undoubtedly one of the best films of 2013-2014. However, be forewarned that the film is extremely sexually graphic (on the level of "Shortbus"), but not gratuitously so. This would be quite an awkward film to watch with children in the room. But for adults, it's exceptional.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2014
    Be forewarned, there is an overabundance of peen in this film -- but there is also some tremendous acting and plotting in this slow burning thriller.
    Hayden B Super Reviewer

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