Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The Stranger Review: A Ride You Will Want to Take

Starring 	Maika Monroe Dane DeHaan Avan Jogia Veena Sud, Thriller, HOrror, Rideshare, Los Angeles, Quibi

Release date: April 13, 2020
Running time: 100 minutes
Starring: Maika Monroe, Dane DeHaan, Avan Jogia 

An unassuming young rideshare driver is thrown into her worst nightmare when a mysterious Hollywood Hills passenger enters her car.  Clare (Monroe) picks up Carl (DeHaan) from a swanky mansion to be taken to the airport.  However, along the way, something happens that causes Monroe to get caught up in a game of cat and mouse, using technology and the infrastructure designed to keep us safe against her.  

Starring 	Maika Monroe Dane DeHaan Avan Jogia Veena Sud, Thriller, HOrror, Rideshare, Los Angeles, Quibi
Dane DeHaan is a very underrated actor, and his performance in The Stranger adds to his already strong, but underappreciated resume.  He is so good at switching personas and he goes from charming and relatable to downright twisted very quickly.  And if he doesn't hook you in the first 10 minute "episode," well, I don't know what to say because I was hooked.  Monroe as Clare also puts in a strong performance.  Although she doesn't have to switch personas, she has to display a wide range of emotions and go through a lot of ordeals during this strange uber ride.  And JJ (Jogia), who we meet along the way, is also very relatable and entertaining.  He also gets caught up in this game of cat and mouse, but without fully realizing everything going on.  It is a very strong cast, which is good because the format means that we spend a lot of time with them.  The rest of the supporting cast are dramatic, although sometimes there can be a little too much.  Some lines are delivered in a robotic fashion or in a way that is too emotional.  

Quibi's format is to have short, 10-minute episodes to allow you to watch a movie's worth of content in digestible chunks.  And what this means for The Stranger is that you basically have an episode of 24, where each hour is 10 minutes rather than a full hour.  The benefit of this format is that a lot happens that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Every 10-minute episode ends with a cliffhanger, so you will constantly be discovering new things or wondering what happened next.  Although I don't love the 10 minute aspect, it is a way to make sure that you are never bored during this.  And aside from these cliffhangers / revelations, the show does have a genuinely good sense of tension.  Because of the nature of the story, Clare is always trying to stay one step ahead, and that can lead to some suspenseful moments.  There are some scenes that will have you holding your breath as you wonder what will happen next.  Overall, this is a good showcase for the Quibi model and a fantastic feature of DeHaan's talents.

The Stranger, with its strong performances, exciting format, and genuine sense of tension, is one ride that you won't want to miss taking.  

Watch it.
Starring 	Maika Monroe Dane DeHaan Avan Jogia Veena Sud, Thriller, HOrror, Rideshare, Los Angeles, Quibi
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