The Strangers (2008) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Bryan Bertino
Producers: Doug Davison, Roy Lee, Nathan Kahane
Writers: Bryan Bertino
Date Released: May 30, 2008
Liv Tyler as Kristen McKay
Scott Speedman as James Hoyt
Gemma Ward as Dollface
Kip Weeks as the Man in the Mask
Laura Margolis as Pin-Up Girl
Glenn Howerton as Mike
Alex Fisher as Mormon boy
Peter Clayton-Luce as Mormon boy
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The Strangers (2008) is about a couple who stay at the man’s vacation home trying to overcome the awkwardness of a rejected proposal and maintain their connection with one another. When the couple returns home from a friend’s wedding reception, three masked strangers start terrorizing them and invading their house. Soon, their getaway plan becomes a game of chase and torture inside the house until the break of dawn when the couple gets captured, tied up, stabbed multiple times, and left for dead. In the end, two Mormon boys encountered the killers and find what’s left of the events that occurred during this horrific night.
For a psycho-killer movie, this one lacks an appropriate amount of blood and gore. The only notable brutal scenes were the one where Mike was shot in the head and the finale killing scene where the couple got stabbed multiple times while tied up. To make up for it, jump scares were everywhere. The freakiest one that will catch you off guard is the part where Kristen was hiding in the pantry. Another one was during the first few minutes of the movie when the masked killer appears behind the window as the curtain was opened. The Strangers (2008) focuses more on anticipation and scares rather than blood and gore.
The Grave Review
The Strangers (2008) opens up with a rejected proposal. It was a bit hard to digest because Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman lacked the chemistry of a couple. Even when they attempted to have sex, there was no emotion of love whatsoever. Another frustrating aspect of the film is the combination of actor, Scott Speedman’s emotionless acting paired with actress, Liv Tyler’s whispery voice all throughout the movie made them look weak and therefore an easy target.
This gets worse when they get attacked. It almost feels like they didn’t care for each other and just wanted to survive the night. They also didn’t have a fighting chance because James didn’t know how to use the gun and mistakenly killed his friend, Kristen broke her leg and lost the knife, and they were in the middle of nowhere. Their attempts at defenses and calling for help failed epically.
On the other hand, the fact that this movie was inspired by true events makes it terrifying and was entertaining. It prevents audiences from staying in secluded areas or even talking to strangers. Edge-of-the-seat suspenseful scenes made this movie effective in terms of exuding the horror of being terrorized by random killers.
The ending is a bit open ended though because the audiences did not know what happened with Liv Tyler’s character after being found by the boys. Also, the killers whose faces were not revealed even after they unmasked themselves and acting like everything’s normal became a room for a sequel. It was an easy kill for them. They weren’t even touched by the poor couple. The film truly depicts people at their most vulnerable states. Of course, it may also be an expression of why giving up and depicting weakness never seems to help one’s circumstance.
Overall, this movie is good if you are looking for psycho-killer jump scares and run-and-hide thrilling suspense.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Strangers (2008) three graves out of five graves.
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