Review: Stranger By The Lake (L’Inconnu du Lac)

13 Jan 14

Stranger By The Lake

I usually write reviews as soon as I’ve seen the film,  but I’ve held off on this one for a few days, because I just don’t know what to say.

The storyline: Franck, a man who goes cruising at a French gay nudist beach, meets three men who change his life. One, the unattainable handsome gentleman; two, handsome man’s moustachioed companion; and three, a genial middle-aged man who isn’t interested in sex but values friendship.

When one of the regular visitors to the beach is killed, Franck must question where his loyalties lie and decide whether love triumphs over everything, including murder.

It was positioned as a ‘sexual thriller’ in the press release, and it’s an arty French movie, so I was expecting a certain number of sex scenes. But this is graphic beyond belief. Nothing at all is left to the imagination, and at certain points it felt like the whole film was just that one scene from Team America, playing over and over again. You know the one.

I took my friend to see it with me, and when we left we were both entirely puzzled. “It’s like watching porn,” he said, “but not good porn. Porn that doesn’t even turn you on, it’s just watching people have sex in a load of different positions.” I had to agree.

Honestly, I’d avoid this film and go see pretty much any other French arthouse flick instead. There isn’t much of a storyline, the characters invoke no emotional reaction and the sex is bland. It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen,  but I certainly wouldn’t want to see it again.

Stranger By The Lake arrives in UK cinemas on the 21st of February 2014.

3/10 – Too many penises, not enough story.