By William Wolf

NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL 2013--STRANGER BY THE LAKE  Send This Review to a Friend

Writer-director Alain Guiraudie’s French film shown at the 2013 New York Film Festival is a suspenseful, sexually very explicit thriller about gay victims. The scene is a lake where gays come to cruise and make attachments. When one goes missing tensions rise and the police begin to investigate.

The handsome Michael, played by Christophe Paou, is an impressive figure who surveys the lake for pick-ups. Franck, played by Pierre Deladonchamps, is attracted to him. Is he the killer of one who has gone missing? And what is going to happen next—and to whom?

The tone of the film is consistently taut, and sexual tensions are there as well, especially given the explicit scenes between the men.

But a question hovers over the film. Is the thriller merely exploiting gays by subjecting them to the same type of obvious efforts at cheap suspense that plague heterosexual films of that type? When all is done and the ending made clear, one may be left with the empty feeling of having watched a very contrived film, the only novelty being that it is about gays. Strand release. Posted November 30, 2013.

  

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