The Strangers (2008)
Directed and Written by Bryan Bertino
Starring: Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman
This movie is said to be inspired by true events yet I find no evidence of that anywhere online. It might be loosely similar to the Keddie cabin murders in California in 1981 but the claims of being based on such murders or being based on the Manson murders has not been confirmed by the writer/director. He even says it is only loosely based on a surprise visitor that came knocking at his family’s door one night when he was a kid.
The story is that of a typical slasher film. A couple of young people in a house in a secluded area being terrorized by unknown assailants wearing creepy masks.
Now, I wanted to see this film because it’s on Stephen King’s list of favorite horror films. I can see why it would make the list. However, it’s not anything that would get an Oscar.
First and foremost, and I know I’ll probably get viciously booed here, I am NOT a Liv Tyler fan. I think her Dad is killer awesome…but, I don’t think she’s a great actress. She’s always got this crying puppy look on her face. And that constant pouty lip thing is so played out already.
Although this wasn’t bad film, it was a predictable one. Some of the other reviews online don’t speak to highly of this movie but, then again, reviews of horror films usually aren’t all that great to begin with. I mean, let’s face it, it’s gotta be a banner film in order to get rave reviews in the horror genre.
However predictable it may be, there was one thing that that I found surprising and completely unsatisfying. The perpetrators take their masks off, revealing themselves to our victims at one point. Yet, we don’t get to see them…EVER!!! For me, this was a HUGE let down. I literally sat there for like five minutes (or more) waiting, practically yelling at the screen to see their faces. Now, I know that there is now another one available at Redbox and I AM going to be getting that very soon BUT, this still disappointed me.
That being said, I DID like the rest of the movie. I don’t understand why the reviews online were so critical of EVERYTHING in the film. I agree that Liv Tyler is no Jamie Lee Curtis but, she still does a fairly good job in this film. The big difference between this and the typical slasher is that this involves a COUPLE rather than a single female. So of course there is going to be a bit of a love story of sorts involved. Duh!
There are a couple of good shock and kill moments which, to me, make the film worthwhile. I think any horror fan would agree.
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