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The Strangers

Cult Movies and Horror movie directed by Bryan Bertino

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A derivative load of crap.

  • Jul 28, 2011
*1/2 out of ****

"The Strangers" is maddeningly un-scary and also unforgivably stupid. It certainly proves that its director, first-timer Bryan Bertino, can direct a movie; but can't tell a gripping story. There are many directors like this; and I applaud him for at least trying to work with his "original" material. This could have made for a pretty tense movie, and the young movie-maker himself had a decent idea going for him. But then again, that is strictly speaking in terms of the concept.

The concept involves a couple (Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman) who return home from a wedding reception in a melancholy state. We learn that the male partner proposed to the female with a ring; and she didn't know how to react in such a state. So they returned home, and refused to speak. Oh, but they'll have to in some time!

The madness of the night begins innocently enough; a young girl knocks on their door and asks for a certain name; the name of a person who apparently is not one of the two people we are following throughout the film. Soon, the female partner begins to see strange, masked stalkers outside the window. There are three of them; and why they insist on terrorizing and eventually brutally attacking the couple is beyond me, beyond them, and beyond anyone.

When people, in movies, are subjected to violent and supposedly "scary" forms of sadistic torture; we are supposed to care. But why is it that, no matter how mad the filmmaker is in their quest to depict human suffering, we never quite do? The characters in "The Strangers" are as thin as paper. We meet them; we greet them, and nothing more; there's not enough development. Whether their characters are shallow, as people, is beyond me; but seriously, they need more back-ground. But at least their personalities weren't as annoying as the things they said.

The problem here is that the director wrote his script, and made it big when he pitched it to a studio, and for some reason, they liked it in its entirety. Perhaps they didn't see what I, and many other observant film-goers, have seen; bad characters, bad plotting, and an ending that will piss off just about anyone. Seriously, was I supposed to be scared throughout this snooze-fest? If there was one thing that kept me awake, it was my own laughter. In a film where people make consistently dumb decisions, and say equally as stupid things, it's difficult to have a different reaction whatsoever.

There's a French film like this one called "Them". And there's also another horror-thriller that most of us know called "Funny Games". That film also shares a similar premise to this one. In fact, too many films do. Whether "The Strangers" is borrowing or taking...well, it's beyond me. Who gives a damn? The thing sucks, and that is final. Perhaps the filmmaker will go on and make something better; he has some decent potential. And maybe this screenplay should get a remake with a different director, and a different writer to re-write the not-so-fantastic aspects of its script. The film is a flawed, one-trick-pony, and most fans of the genre will dislike it with a passion, as I sort of do. I'm giving it some credit because it deserves some; the direction isn't "bad", and come to think of it, I wouldn't say the acting is either. But nothing can make up for the amount of good material that was lost in the fire of bad writing. This movie left me drained, and pissed. It had no atmosphere, there was nothing new to experience, and I'd recommend that you skip the experience all-together.

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July 28, 2011
I did not like this movie at all....2/5 for me.
More The Strangers reviews
review by . December 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
      THE STRANGERS      Now the idea behind this film is really scary especially since it can really happen. In fact it is based on true events or at least something the director experienced or remembered from his childhood. You can say it is a rip off of the film "Them" [really good] all you want but I tend to believe what the director has to say and how he wrote this. This film was based on three different things it seems that lead to the director …
Quick Tip by . December 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I had a good time with this one and would recommend it. I know that there are those who don't like it as much but I thought it was good. I say check it out because you may like it as well. Does it have problems, maybe, but that didn't hurt the film in my eyes. Rent it and check it out late one night, you may not want to answer the door after that. Based on three different things including a very chilling true crime, check out the review to find out more about that.
review by . July 16, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
If you're looking to be scared, The Strangers will to do the trick and then some.      I was a little worried, to be honest. Based on the premise and early looks at the trailer, it had the look of yet another "torture porn" story, of which there are already plenty. Fortunately, The Strangers rises above this and sets out to create something far more subtle, but no less gripping.      The Strangers is a no-frills suspense film. The premise is …
review by . June 14, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
dvd cover
After watching the French-horror thriller "THEM" a few months ago, I didn't really have high hopes for this supposed "based" on true events film: "THE STRANGERS". If this isn't a remake, it certainly has strong similarities. (Maybe this was also based on the incident in Romania?) "Them" came out around 2006, if this was written before, what took it so long to be made? The quality of the film doesn't reflect anything special to cause a delay in …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie


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!
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