Thursday, July 26, 2012

30. The Strangers

Title:        The Strangers
Year:        2008
Genre:      Home Invasion

Type:        A-Movie
Run Time: 85


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Inspired by true events, this heart pounding, nail-biting frightener mercilessly explores our most universal fears, where simply opening the door to a stranger leads to a grueling night of terror one could never imagine. Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman star in this relentless suspense thriller that will keep you up at night and make you never want to answer the door again! 

Alternative Synopsis
Personal Thoughts

Perhaps too slow for the true horror & gore fan ... perhaps too clean for the true slasher fan ... perhaps too calm for the true home invasion movie fan ... so where exactly does this leave us?

The Strangers "In my opinion" is one of those types of horror films that relies on psychological terror, playing heavily on ones emotions for most of the movie, while saving the most brutal and worst imaginable sequences for the climax. It wasn't so relaxed of a situation that you felt the main characters would definitely survive, and it wasn't so cruel of a situation (like most other intense home invasion movies) that you felt the main characters didn't stand a chance. This film had a whole lot of psychological terror, with a very small amount of physical torment (so no worries for the person that doesn't have a strong stomach). 

I love a movie that leaves you talking about it when it's over, and this was definitely one of those types of movies. It left me saying things like; If they only would have done this ... or could have done that ... or hadn't done this ... or why did they do this ... etc. -- yep, my wife and I found ourselves saying things like this a lot.

The Plot: While spending a night in a secluded family vacation home (remind me never to do this), a couple quickly realizes that they're not alone, and with the break of dawn just hours away, they must work fiercely to defend themselves against three mask intruders if they wish to see the light of another day.

For me, It's hard to watch these types of movies without putting myself in the main characters shoes and imagining (God forbid) how I'd fair if I ever found myself in one of these types of situation. At some parts of the movie, I thought to myself "That's stupid, why would they do that" but then I'm usually humbled by the question; Would you really like to find out if you'd do any better or make any wiser decisions if you were in their shoes? -- Yeah, not so much! 

Moving along, this movie was able to frighten me in a sense, and cause me to have an uncomfortable, unsettling experience without going overboard, and that's what I typically look for in a horror film (you don't always have to use profanity, nudity and gore to get your point across). What disturbed me the most about this movie was the fact that it offered up very little explanation as to why the terrible events were occurring other than "Because you were home" ... which was uttered out of the mouth of one of the intruders. This is frightening because you know things like this can and really has happened.

Though The Strangers worked for me, it might not work for you, meaning, if you're planning on watching this movie expecting to see a slasher or torture porn, then you'll probably be greatly disappointed. Could the movie have used more kill scenes, probably, but that sort of thing is kind of hard to do when you have a plot that's centered around only two characters.

Is The Strangers based on a true story?

"Although it was ambiguously marketed as being "inspired by true events", writer and director Bryan Bertino stated that the film was inspired by a series of break-ins that occurred in his neighborhood as a child, as well as some incidents that occurred during the Manson killings. Critical reaction to the film was mixed" - Wikipedia.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie (and that's not to say it was great) ... but I thought it was a respectable horror thriller, most suitable for those who like a good scare, but aren't real fans of blood, gore and some of the other things that typically go hand in hand with these types of movies.
Movie Recommendation 27 - Overall Recommendation Number 30

What I liked:

- The suspense
- The ambience, and old creepy music
- The fact that it did a good job combining suspense and psychological terror with some real physical torment
- The fact that the movie actually gave me hope in thinking the main characters might survive (unlike other brutal home invasion movies - that tend to leave me pretty hopeless and never wanting to watch them again) 

What I didn't like:

- Not a lot of kill scenes for a horror movie (which I actually didn't mind)
- Some of the main characters choices are highly questionable (as with most of these types of horror movies)
- No real motive for the events that took place (which I actually didn't mind)
My Ratings

How good was it:     

How scary was it:        

How much did I enjoy it:
The Strangers Extras:

The Strangers Wikipedia
More Screenshots:

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The Mothman


The Mothman said...

I believe they are working on a sequel to The Strangers

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I've been waiting for The Strangers 2.

The Mothman said...

It'll be interesting to see how it turns out. The first one was pretty frightening for a movie that's really not that scary.

Anonymous said...

Home invasion movies always scare me. The masked intruders made it even scarier.

The Mothman said...

Tell me about it. Typically, home invasion movies (for me) can be a difficult to sit through. "Because you were home" is a very disturbing line to me!

The Mothman said...

This movie has a lot of pretty good screenshots!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the one where Liv Tyler is on her knees crawling with the masked girl behind her freaks me out!

Did you see The Strangers at the theater?

The Mothman said...

Yeah, that is a rather disturbing screenshot and yes I did see it in the theater. We had fun that night.

The Mothman said...

BTW, I also liked the movie Them (aka Ils) 2006. IMO The Strangers was similar to this movie.

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