TV Party is a new Friday feature in which Film Editors Dominick Mayer and Justin Gerber alongside Editor-in-Chief Michael Roffman suggest one movie apiece to enjoy over the weekend. Joining them each week will be two rotating film staff writers to help round out the selections. Seek out any of the films via Netflix, Amazon, Redbox, Hulu, OnDemand, or abandoned Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stores — however you crazy kids watch movies these days! Enjoy ’em for the first time, a second, or maybe a redemptive third.
Stranger by the Lake
Stranger by the Lake is a film that concerns quite a bit of graphic sexuality, so if that’s not to your sensibility, you may just want to move on to the next part of the list. But Alain Guiraudie’s simmering thriller isn’t just about money shots and the titular body of water in France that doubles as a popular cruising location. There, Franck (Pierre Deladonchamps) moves from lover to lover in the forests and hidden corners of the beach, and intermittently strikes up friendly conversations with Henri (Patrick D’Assumcao), who appears to be more interested in company than in taking advantage of the beach’s ostensible purpose.
But as the days go by, long stretches of lazy summer bliss occasionally punctuated by orgasms, something sinister begins to emerge from beneath the surface. It may or may not have something to do with Michel (Christophe Paou), a handsome stranger whose stern façade simultaneously concerns and arouses Franck. It’d be a disservice to say any more, but suffice it to say that in a weekend rife with new thriller offerings, Stranger by the Lake is one that builds to a point of furious tension, all culminating in a final shot that’ll stick with you long after the film ends.