|Index||5 reviews in total|
Stranger Within is a movie that had a great potential, a great plot, a
story-line. But, it has become more likely an ordinary thriller at the end
of it. Many scenes started to be rather unbelievable, illogical (i.e.
strength, his 'ability' to move the body that fast).
On the other side, I'm not trying to say I hated this movie. In fact, I liked it. If you're checking IMDB now to see if it's worth a watch, watch it. You won't be disappointed, especially if you like 'high voltage' movies as Stranger Within is.
Overall, I rate it a 6/10.
The Stranger Within is a film I think I am in love with. It does have more
than one flaw (we all do) but I keep watching it over and over again. The
film's quality outweighs the minor flaunts (which include some cliches,
a heroic cop trying to come to the rescue) by far. For one, there is Kate
Jackson's as well as Rick Schroder's terrific acting. These two actors seem
to be made for each other and the way they score in The Stranger Within
screams for more joint ventures. Tom Holland did a wonderful job directing
them and I hope the three of them will work together once more. The story
John Pielmeier is stirring, gripping, suspenseful and even credible
(although he really should have abandoned that cop story line). He uses
everyday situations and events, and what I like most about his narrative is
the emphasis on emotions and humanity. The script does not judge any of the
characters and we really sympathize with all of them. It makes The Stranger
Within a tragedy as much as a mystery. The sudden violence is not subtle,
but it nevertheless results in some clever and fascinating scenes and keeps
you on the edge of your seat. Violence and tragedy keep taking turns
appealing to the viewer's imagination and compassion and especially the
scenes of Schroder and Jackson in the kitchen, where naturalness as well as
impact of the dialogues reach the highest levels, are stunning.
The music by Vladimir Horunzhy is sober and electronic and that suits this
film remarkably well.
I just wonder why Tom Holland made this film for television and not for theater release. It would have been a hit in European film houses, and wide screen format would have done more justice to the solid camera work by James Hayman and crew. Therefore I suggest The film will be remastered and provided with full opening and end credits in order to prepare it for international theater release. Maybe Holland still has some cut scenes which should be in it and could be inserted. I don't think the film will ever become a hype (thank god) but it does not deserve to be lost in oblivion
"The Stranger Within" is one of those stories that keeps you glued to your
seat untill the end!
Having your 3-year old son abducted in a grocery-store is every mother's nightmare. After several years of pain and guilt Mare found some happiness with her new boyfriend Dan. What is she going to do when one day a handsome boy appears on her doorstep claiming to be her long lost abducted son? Can he prove who he claims to be? Is it a setup? What is his gain by tormenting Mare with her past? Will Mare choose between her new boyfriend and her son? The chemistry between Rick Schröder and Kate Jackson is incredible! Both actors give a top notch performance resulting in horrific screen moments and tension. You keep on guessing untill the end whether or not Mark is the lost son! Whatever the outcome, this movie stays in your memory for many years to come!
A word of advice: do not go near the frozen lake!
This has to be Rick Schoeder's most 'differrent' (for lack of a better term) role to date, in my opinion. I don't think his performance in "Bad Seed" comes even CLOSE to this one. His turn as "Mark" I would have to say HAS to be one of the ten creepiest characters EVER portrayed on film! The thing I remember most about this movie were the sketches that "Mark" had. Those were some of the creepiest pieces I've ever seen. I think that the 'fear factor' of this movie is underrated when taking those sketches into account. I would have to give it a 10 simply for the fact that this was a television movie, when it was honestly creepy enough for a theater release. Get the popcorn and turn off the lights for this one, but only if you're ready for the nightmares to come!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
THE STRANGER WITHIN had the potential to be a campy cult classic. The
worst parts were a heavily clichéd script and Rick Schroder's
overacting. Made up to resemble Charles Starkweather, Schroder was Evil
with a capital E. If he was a better actor, he would have been more
convincing as a cunning, conniving, charming sociopath next door.
The bleak, remote, rural atmosphere was chillingly effective. But Schroder's over the top style robbed all subtle nuance from it. Evil that is human, not ham-fisted, is what haunts. When Schroder boldly announced he was Kate Jackson's son at their first meeting, it was obvious the screenwriter was going to beat the viewer over the head instead of delivering an intelligent, thoughtful script.
Extremely annoying: Schroder's overuse of people's names. He called Kate Jackson "Mom" nearly every time he addressed her. Was that supposed to be a sign of his psychopathy? Odd aside: Captain Bender looked like a much younger man made up to resemble an older man.
Very predictable film that could have been excellent if Schroder was half the actor Richard Thomas was in YOU'LL LIKE MY MOTHER. This film had a similar atmosphere to the intense and disturbing YOU'LL LIKE MY MOTHER, but the latter featured excellent acting and writing that kept it from becoming trite and tiresome. THE STRANGER WITHIN had no such saving graces.
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