The Strangers

Rated: R
Runtime: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Directed by: Bryan Bertino

Starring:
Liv Tyler - Kristen McKay
Scott Speedman - James Hoyt
Glenn Howerton - Mike


The Strangers - Poster

The new horror flick The Strangers is no stranger to clichés. Did you like that little quip? Did you like how it was predictable, simple, and lazy? Well if you like that, you'll love The Strangers, a great time-saver that features every cheesy horror element you've seen since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre all in under 90 minutes.

Starting with the voiceover that this was based on true events, blah, blah, blah and letting us know up front that our protagonists Kristen (Liv Tyler) and Steve (Scott Speedman) are doomed, we come the nice little house where the two will be subjected to the countless horrors of people with creepy masks banging on their door, standing silently at their windows, and slowly cutting off all contact with the outside world.

The Strangers desperately wants to invoke The Texas Chainsaw Massacre's nightmarish quality of being stranded with a violent malevolent force that is human but has left all humanity behind by eschewing reason for mindless brutality. Unfortunately, Strangers lacks that nightmarish quality, due partially to no Chainsaw, partially to no Texas, but mostly to try and make an "old-school" horror flick.

Good horror makes you feel afraid. Most fear comes out of a fear of the unknown. We've already seen everything this movie has to offer so it's just an homage, and one so simple that really anyone with a few spare weekends and an empty house could have made this movie.

The Strangers is scary but only because it only relies on jump scares and the constant threat of a loud noise will have you on edge no matter what. But there's nothing genuinely creepy or scary about the film because it has absolutely nothing new to offer.

Words by
Matt Goldberg
5.27.08


Rating:4.5 out of 10