THE STRANGERS (2008)

Written & Directed By: Bryan Bertino
Cinematography By: Peter Sova
Editor: Kevin Greutert
Original Music By: tomandandy

CAST: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman, Gemma Ward

After returning from a wedding reception, a couple staying in an isolated vacation house receive a knock on the door in the mid-hours of the night. What ensues is a violent invasion by three strangers, their faces hidden behind masks. The couple find themselves in a violent struggle, in which they go beyond what either of them thought capable in order to survive.


I can understand how other people may enjoy this film but I honestly didn’t while you are there approach is riveting and exciting making you stay on your toes. The chilling masks that could be innocent are there more for terror. The cinematography makes you feel like you are watching a big-budget snuff film. The feel of this film is like it could have been made in the seventies it is that different from its contemporaries in the genre. Not too many cuts no annoying rapid editing. It has its problems but has good follow-through.

It just feels like it was manipulating from beginning to end. From the fake based on a true story coda at the beginning (It Wasn’t) and quite honestly ripped off TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.

Letting us know just enough about the characters as a backstory. So we can feel for them as they are victims on screen for most of this film, to the quiet stretches of the film. Only to be jarred by a loud sound and the music that expresses doom in almost every minute of this film. That is a warning that something is going to happen, but half the time doesn’t.

The filmmakers try to use what you already know about these types of films against you. Then tries to shock you by having scenes go a different way.

My problems are not only there, but in the beginning, they say not many details are known about what actually happened. Ok so why this movie is an interpretation of what the director thinks happened, then why so much attention to detail? like he was there and knew specific details about what happened.

Also if this is supposed to be a true story how come the killers are so talented or supernatural that they seem to be able to disappear at will. Then show up again unexpectedly with hardly a sound they are human, humans can have the best plan in the world, but make mistakes. it’s human nature, they also would thanks to gravity make noise, but not these killers who are kind of humanized at the end, but by that time it’s too late.

All the believability has already flown out the window. While the reasoning for the crimes is chilling and spoiled in the advertisement for the film. It is also what sells it and makes it scarier. If most other filmmakers had made it they probably would have copped out and shown the faces of innocent kids doing this as a thrill more than anything else it beats drugs. Which is not the actual ending.

SPOILER-

Though keeping them faceless does make them all the more scary and perfect for a sequel

SPOILER END

I give this film an A for effort and quite frankly believe the director does have talent which is plainly evident on the screen. He just makes these mistakes that take one out of the movie.

Would rather see more types of movies like this made by actual talent than the 20th remake of a Friday the 13th sequel which while fun in the original series are whack outside of it. Not to mention one would rather see films like this than another j-horror American remake.

The thing I can also give this movie credit for is that it seems to understand the horror genre. This while being gory a few times is mostly about thrills and suspense more than anything else.

Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, Give good performances this might be the best film either have been in so far. it at least has given them the best roles to play.

I would say this is a good rental. More interested in the making of the film than necessarily the finished product.

GRADE: C+

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