THE STRANGERS (2008) Bryan Bertino
Maybe it’s because I’m punch drunk from seeing an endless stream of crappy torture porn/remake/slasher movies like TCM,TCM: The Beginning, Hostel, Hostel 2, Wolf Creek, Black Christmas, Halloween remake, blah blah blah blah blah…
Maybe it’s because my standards have been so DRASTICALLY lowered on an entire genre and my bar is soooooo low…but I found myself really liking The Strangers. Bad thing to admit, I know. However, I found this to be a semi talented piece of work.
It’s kind of a cross between 60’s ghost horror like House on Haunted Hill or Haunting and a 70’s slasher movie like TCM. The plot is about a couple that goes to their summer home after a wedding reception and gets tormented by masked killers. Because there are only two potential victims, this is obviously not going to be a big body count gore fest and I feel that is what bored the audience around me. However, that is probably why I liked it so much. The movie has a great atmosphere: dark scary woods, creepy music, and spooky creaks and bangs. Its a movie that builds the suspense slowly through noises and quietly lurking bad guys. It reminded me, as I said of a movie like The Haunting, a ghost story about mood scares than gore.
Another complaint I have heard is critics call bullsh*t that the villains can disappear from the protagonists sight after they look away for a split second. Well, if you complain about that, then you have cited a problem with about 97% of horror movies out there.
If there is one problem I kinda had with the story, it was that it seemed like the director wrote himself into a corner and didn’t REALLY know how to end it right. It just kinda fizzled at the end.
That being said, and I know I’m getting crap for supporting this movie. But I found this movie a breath of fresh air from the usual torture porn crap.