Author: msroz from United States
28 February 2017
"The Stray" (2000) is listed as a neo-noir by critic Andrew Spicer but not John Grant. It does fit a neo-noir pattern of duplicity fed by deep resentment and a revenge motivation. It does have a female in distress, and it does bring in a triangle. It evolves into more of a thriller. However, it looks more like a standard TV-movie than a neo-noir effort. The cinematography doesn't distinguish it as neo-noir.
The story is very predictable. It became something of an effort for me to see this one through without pressing the fast-forward button, but I did. Beyond that, the performance of the creepy intruder (Stefan Lysenko) was annoying. One reviewer says he's "enunciation challenged". Let's face it. Half of his dialog cannot be understood because he speaks so low and mumbles worse than some method actor emulating Michael Parks who in turn is emulating Marlon Brando. Michael Madsen is another reason for watching while Angie Everhart has the burden of playing a part in which the character can't make up her mind and can't stick to her decisions. Madsen has a part where he's a good cop but he drags his heels unrealistically. In other words, the story is way below par.