Horror. Worldview. Faith.

The Strangers – Review

The Strangers – Review

Aug 16, 2011

reviewed by hallo
directed by Bryan Bertino, 2008

The Strangers is a 2008 “home invasion” movie starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman.  After turning down a marriage proposal, Kristen (Tyler) accompanies a distressed James (Speedman) back to an isolated house where he had earlier decorated with an abundance of rose petals anticipating a “yes” to the big question.  Why they thought it would be a good idea to follow through with a plan to spend a weekend in the middle of nowhere together after such an alarming denial to marriage is beyond me.  But, they finally arrive at the house.  When James heads back out to pick Kristen up some cigarettes at 4 in the morning (really?), she is visited by three weird strangers and the terror begins.  They torment her, toy with her, and give up endless opportunities to kill just to keep up the fun.  James returns from the store and the rest of the movie is them trying to keep their sanity and their lives.  The movie ends with the couple finally being tied up in a couple of chairs, stabbed a few times, and then killed.

If my above summary of the film lacked any kind of gusto, it is because I found the movie to be dull, slow, and pointless.  The strangers just draw out their torment of the couple for way too long.  About 15 times throughout the film, there will be a “stranger” behind Kristen, easily ready to kill her, tie her up, slap her, poke her in the eye, or anything, but instead they decide to run away, disappear, and then reappear for a similar “scare.”  It just gets repetitive really fast.  The direction was good, but the couple just does too many silly things.  For example, they receive perfect cell phone service in the house (which was refreshing, the writers didn’t opt for the “no service” angle), but their cell phone dies.  Not to worry, Kristen has a charger!  But for some inexplicable reason, when she plugs the charger into the phone and into an outlet, she doesn’t turn it on to make the call!  It is as if she doesn’t realize that cell phones operate just fine while they are plugged in and charging.  Little thing like that add up to a fairly high annoyance level.  The pay off isn’t a pay off at all and the ending leaves us scratching our heads – did we really just watch 1 hour of senseless “teasing” for a lifeless, emotionless finish?  Yes.  Yes we did.

Unless you are just a die-hard home invasion freak, this one is very much avoidable.  Not terrible, but not good.

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