Eli Roth’s ever-expanding cinematic circles mean that he’s got his fingers in a lot of pies. Establishing himself as a main player in the horror field with his breakout grossout hit, Cabin Fever, he’s gone on to churn up stomachs with each subsequent movie. After turning his hand to the production side of things, he stepped away from the megaphone for last year’s Aftershock, which he co-wrote with buddy Guillermo Amoedo. As that arrangement worked out, the pair have reunited for The Stranger.
This latest venture sees Amoedo stepping behind the camera to direct a largely unknown cast that includes Ariel Levy, Lorenzo Izzo, Aaron Burns and Luis Gnecco. As well as embarking on scriptwriting duties. The story, according to IMDB, will focus on what happens when “a mysterious man arrives at a small town at the end of the world to eradicate a very dangerous disease.” A tantalising premise, that leans heavily on the sanguineous side of horror for the first trailer’s seemingly-disconnected stream of images. It’s to be expected, though, with a tagline like “Blood will tear us apart.”
The Stranger will debut this weekend at Fantastic Fest in Austin.
Amoedo shows a deft ability to turn a bloodthirsty monster movie on its head, into a slow-burn, character-driven film. THE STRANGER takes its time, building the tension through occasional flashbacks and having the audience sympathize with Peter, who grew up not knowing his father. Peter, like the audience, is kept largely in the dark about his father’s motives or even what he is… because he’s certainly not human. What is apparent is the chaos his dad’s return has on the small town, especially a member of the police force and his violence-prone son.
THE STRANGER is ultimately about family, the legacy we pass on to our children and the lengths we go to protect and ensure their survival, no matter how dark and deadly they might become.