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Sean Michael Allen,
After a traumatic ordeal, acclaimed actress Emily Moore (Warren) and her psychiatrist husband, Robert (Baldwin), escape on a relaxing vacation to a gorgeous remote Mediterranean island. But on the first night at the house, a young woman (Butler) arrives, with blood on her hands and hysterical from the death of her boyfriend in a hiking accident. Robert offers to take in and help the young girl, but her suggestive behavior makes Emily wonder if she might be a threat to their marriage... or her life. Written by
Stilted acting, an unconvincing storyline, a script that could have been written by a fourth-grader, hackneyed horror film tropes (zombie imagery, etc), and phony picture-perfect makeup/costume design are all topped-off with a distractingly pervasive soap operatic soundtrack. The cover blurb states that this film is "A dark and twisted psychological thriller!"; however, the "psychology" of it all is pretty rudimentary.
On the other hand, the cinematography is well-done despite the very low budget. No matter how limited the scope, there is some nice Balearic Islands scenery, and Sarah Butler, as tormented house-guest "Sarah," strips briefly in order to spice things up. Finally, there is some attempt at a twist, even if it's not a terribly original one, at the end.
THE STRANGER WITHIN is reminiscent of some of the corniest suspense films of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Indeed, it echos the title of a 1974 TV movie which apparently has a similar conflict and must have inspired this one.
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