Vampirism is treated as a blood-borne illness in Guillermo Amoedo’s The Stranger, but with a mystical twist: A vampire’s sanctified blood contains healing properties.
Fans who enjoy cataloging liberties taken with the rulebook — sunlight aversion, check; inability to enter a building without being invited, nope — could find something to study here, but for viewers who don’t need to suck down every last drop of vampire lore, The Stranger never gets the blood pumping. Morose and plodding, the film follows Martin (Cristobal Tapia Montt) as he arrives in a small town in search of his wife, who died there years before.
We learn the couple were vampires; he intended to kill them both, but she fled so she could carry her pregnancy to term. In town, Martin is attacked at random and seemingly killed, the crime covered up by the murderer’s father, a cop. A witness, teenage graffiti tagger Peter (Nicolás Durán), retrieves Martin’s body to nurse back to health. Events unsurprisingly spin out of control as the cop and his son take violent measures to keep a lid on their crime, unaware of what they’re dealing with.
Flat performances and Amoedo’s leaden direction drain the excitement from what could have been an interesting genre mash-up.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 9, 2015