The Stranger

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Stranger TV Poster Image
Violent stalker horror full of suspense, cursing.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

It offers an interpretation of some of the worst things that can happen when too much information is offered to strangers. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Carl E. is an intelligent and sadistic serial killer who enjoys stalking and emotionally torturing Claire. 


Stalking and murder are major plot points. There are lots of descriptions of violent acts (shootings, stabbings, throat cuttings), some of which are used as threats. Blood and bloody injuries are visible, as are knives and other weapons. A car accident is shown. 


Some flirtatious behavior. 


Curses like "bitch," "c--t," "s--t," and "f--k." 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Stranger is a horror series about a woman who is stalked by a serial killer. It features many descriptions of violent acts, threats of murder, bloody knives, and terror-filled moments. There's lots of cursing, too, including "bitch," "c--t," "s--t," and "f--k." 

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What's the story?

THE STRANGER is a horror series about what can happen when you pick up the wrong person. Claire (Maika Monroe) is a rideshare driver who recently moved to Los Angeles from Kansas to pursue her dreams as a screenwriter. When she picks up a charming young man named Carl E. (Dane DeHaan) from his swanky home, things seem normal. But Claire soon discovers that he's not what he seems, and her world suddenly becomes a nightmare. 

Is it any good?

This dark thriller offers lots of suspense-filled moments filled with unnerving twists. Thanks to good writing, what seems like a simple story reveals itself to be a complicated cat-and-mouse game that is easy to get caught up in. Meanwhile, Dehaan’s strong performance as the intelligent, misogynistic, and sadistic stalker makes it creepier at every turn. If you enjoy horror stories, you will find The Stranger to be entertainingly addictive. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of thrillers. What is it about shows like The Stranger that makes them entertaining? Is it the suspense or fear it elicits when one watches them? Or is it something else? 

  • What do you think is the impact of the violence featured in horror films and shows? What's the difference between shows that are gory and graphic versus those that imply violence? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love scary stuff

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