L’Inconnu Du Lac (Stranger By The Lake) – **

Posted: December 1, 2014 in 2013, Crime/Detective, Drama, France, LGBT themed, Thriller, XX

Rave reviews, award wins, a great synopsis for a mystery thriller… enough reasons to watch L’Inconnu Du Lac. 

However, it’s art house porn. Again. What’s up with these French award giving juries? It’s not as bad as the 15 minute long lesbian frolicking scene in Golden Palm winner La Vie D’Adele, but there’s fellatio and ejaculation and the owner of the prominent penis ends up winning a César for best promising actor!

All the nudity and sex scenes are not gratuitous though. They are pretty necessary for the story setting. It all takes place in a place near a lake that is frequented by gay men looking for sex, a cruising area. That’s what the characters are there for: to be naked and to have sex. So it would have been pretty silly if they wouldn’t show any of it.

Apart from that, the movie is quite captivating. During his frequent visits to the lake, a younger man is fascinated by an older dude. As he stays behind one evening to be alone with the man, he witnesses him murdering a fuck buddy. The discovery makes him even more attracted to the psychopath …

The intriguing thing is that it shows an aspect of gay life that not many people know about and that gay right activists in search for more acceptance would prefer to ignore at all. Modern Family gayness it is not. Places like those usually attract frustrated married men, but the main character is a confident gay guy who’s looking for a thrill. It’s scary in all kinds of ways. There’s the thrilling element of course of someone befriending a murderer. But it’s terrifying in other ways too: these cruising area’s are filled with anonymous people often having unprotected sex. Like the detective wonders: ‘aren’t you afraid of encountering a homophobic serial killer?’

It’s a combination of Friedkin’s Cruising (murder in the gay underground), Seidl’s Paradise trilogy (the controversial explicit reality of life) and Lake Placid (you’ll never want to swim in a lake again). There’s only a handful of actors and locations, which makes it even more impressive.

However, it’s art house porn tough.



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