Film Review: The Stranger in Our Bed (2022)

The Stranger in Our Bed proves an effective, low-key thriller

“Someone’s been following me”

Based on the novel of the same name by Samantha Lee Howe, The Stranger in Our Bed could easily have been a three part TV thriller (probably on ITV) but adapted into a fleet 90 minute film directed by Giles Alderson here, it actually proves quite effective, the type of British film-making that is becoming all too rare in our cinemas.

The story occupies that sort of airport thriller territory, not hugely original in its conception but benefitting from some quality execution by a strong cast and some intelligent direction. Emily Berrington’s Charlotte is deeply unhappy in her gilded marriage to Ben Lloyd-Hughes’ wealthy Tom but at the moment she decides to leave him for Ewan, the man with whom she’s been having an affair, he turns out to have disappeared without a trace.

Still under the coercive control of her husband and his eerily self-possessed mother Isadora (the wonderful Samantha Bond), Charlotte tracks down Ewan’s sister (Terri Dwyer) and begins an investigation to try and figure out what has happened, scarcely prepared for the walls of secrets and lies that have been built around her.

Its first hour is very good indeed, revelling in the atmospheric strangeness of a mystery that only slowly reveals its shape. But as it veers headlong towards its culmination, it jettisons a little too much of its credibility in the name of pulpy thrills, becoming more daft than dangerous in the pursuit of a hopefully happy ending. Nina Wadia and Joseph Marcell add heft in their supporting roles as the staff at Ewan’s family pile though, keeping us engaged to that end.

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