Thursday Movie Picks: A Stranger

Welcome to another Thursday Movie Picks, the weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. This week we have to pick movies with strangers and I guess it's because it has been Halloween themed for the past month, but at first I could only think of horror/thriller movies. I was able to do something different with my third pick though.

Hush (2016)
A deaf writer who lives alone in a house in the woods must fight for her life when a masked stranger appears at her window with only one thing in mind, killing her. This is one of the best horrors/thrillers of recent years. It's tense, clever and benefits from a great performance by its lead, Kate Siegel.

The Hitcher (2007)
Two students are driving through the New Mexico desert during a rainy night when they decide to give a ride to a hitcher. Worst idea ever as the stranger turns out to be a serial killer. I saw this years ago when I had a soft spot for terrible horrors and I remember enjoying it. I don't think I'd feel the same day.

Forces of Nature (1999)
After his plane almost crashed because of a hurricane, a soon-to-be-married man meets an attractive and eccentric woman and his wedding is put at stake. I also saw this one years ago, and I don't remember much about it. But I was really rooting for those two to end up together.


  1. I've only seen Forces of Nature which was cute because of the pairing of the leads but I thought the movie rambled too much eventually into meaninglessness. I didn't hate it by any means but its not something I've watched since that first time.

    I didn't see this version of The Hitcher but did see the original with C. Thomas Howell and Rutger Hauer and while it was professionally made it had such a vile concept at its core I hated every minute of it and can't imagine putting myself through that again.

    Hush may be good but I'm suffering from a horror burnout.

    That said with the horror month behind us I found this week's picks much easier to come up with.

    The Night Digger (The Road Builder) (1971)-Maura Prince is a lonely woman with some physical disabilities (Patricia Neal-returning to work after suffering a series of strokes which had caused great paralysis which she was still struggling to overcome) lives as a virtual servant to her feeble but domineering mother (Pamela Brown) taking care of her and their large home in the English countryside. Into their lives and strained relationship rolls moody, handsome mysterious biker Billy Jarvis (Nicholas Clay) to cast their lives into upheaval. Maura is at first guarded against Billy’s off kilter charm and her mother contemptuous but as time moves along Maura beings to soften and find herself attracted to him. There’s just one problem Billy’s in the habit of wandering away and disappearing at night which seems to correlate to a series of murders in the surrounding area.

    Knife in the Water (1962)-A wealthy couple are headed to go sailing for a few days when they encounter a hitchhiker along the way. Despite some antagonism between the two men the couple invite the young man to accompany them on their trip. There the tension escalates as an attraction builds between the hitcher and the wife as well as resentment between the two men. When an altercation leads to a mystery things take a dark turn. Roman Polanski’s breakthrough picture, nominated for Best Foreign Film, is a tense three person drama.

    The Stranger (1946)-Professor Charles Rankin (Orson Welles) has a dark secret, he is in actuality escaped war criminal Franz Kindler one of Hitler’s architects of the final solution. One day his former assistant Meinike appears in town and beseeches him to confess his sins, fearing exposure Rankin kills him and buries him in the woods on the edge of town. Shortly afterwards a stranger arrives, Mr. Wilson (Edward G. Robinson) an agent for the War Crimes Commission who had been tracking Meinike in hopes he would lead him to Kindler. Suspecting Rankin almost immediately because he shares Kindler’s fascination with clocks Wilson tries to enlist and warn Rankin’s wife Mary (Loretta Young) to the truth. Initially doubtful she grow wary when Wilson mentions Meinike since she knows he had visited her husband. Under increasing pressure Rankin decides to eliminate all obstacles to his freedom leading to a taut showdown. Welles directed as well as stars in this noir set in small town America.

  2. I haven't seen any of these but may catch the last one on the W network. The first one sounds good but too intense for my liking as I will have nightmares

  3. I love Hush! I never saw the other two, but I remember when Hitcher was in theaters.

  4. I've only seen Hush and it is good thriller.