In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Strangers

After arriving home late one night, James (Scott Speedman) and Kristen (Liv Tyler) are set upon by three masked assailants.

In the months leading up to its release, The Strangers has been compared to many previous horror titles. Everything from Vacancy to Funny Games to the French thriller Ils (Them) have been bandied about. The truth is, though it shares elements of all of those cat-and-mouse films, I think The Strangers stands on its own.

The Strangers is a movie of atmosphere rather than gore, and of action rather than dialogue. There is something incredibly non-Hollywood about it, not just in subject matter, but also in tone. The film is well shot (although the handheld was somewhat distracting at times) with great use of shadow and light. There is a ton of the poster fodder that we’ve been seeing over its long ad campaign. Newcomer Bryan Bertino holds his own, doing double duty as writer and director. I knew he was doing well when I heard the collective audience gasp of breath at the antagonist’s first appearance. Tyler and Speedman are serviceable in their roles, which is all you can really ask from two stars who have never been known as acting heavyweights. The great score provided by horror vets tomandandy gives an added punch to an already LOUD movie. They really crank up the audio in this, so expect a lot of jump scares.

The Strangers actually turned out to be much better than I was expecting and played out differently than predicted. Sure, there are some parts that you see coming, but never so much that it takes away from the piece as a whole. For those who have seen Ils – the film that The Strangers is most compared to, even so much as to call it a remake – you will know it has a certain ‘hook’. The Strangers concludes in such a way as to make that ‘hook’ seem almost irrelevant. It’s even more disturbing in a way.

The Strangers is a good back-to-basics horror film, proving that a filmmaker with a little talent can elevate a simple story into something more than the usual cookie cutter fare.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The stranger movie is a very interesting story. IN this story,after the wedding reception the couple is in room and they hear a knocks on the door.when they open the door there are 3 terrorists...there is a lots of suspence in this movie.....i download The strangers movie from this website.....