Director: Bryan Bertino
Cast: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman, Gemma Ward,
Kip Weeks, Laura Margolis, Glenn Howerton
RunTime: 1 hr 23 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: PG (Violence and Frightening Scenes)
Official Website: http://www.thestrangers.net/
Opening Day: 3 July 2008
Lock the doors. Assume you're safe.
horrifying events that took place in the Hoyt family's vacation
home at 1801 Clark Road on February 11, 2005, are still not
Rose petals. Candlelight. It was supposed to be a night of
celebration for Kristen McKay (Liv Tyler) and James Hoyt (Scott
Speedman). But after leaving a friend's wedding reception
and returning to the house, everything had collapsed for the
came a 4 a.m. knock on the door and a haunting voice.
Bryan Bertino explores our most universal fears in "The
Strangers," a terrifying suspense thriller about a couple
whose remote getaway becomes a place of terror when masked
strangers invade. The confrontation forces Kristen and James
to go far beyond what they thought themselves capable of if
they hope to survive.
In this review, I shall attempt to make myself sound intelligent
and explain why this movie will induce people to whip out
cold hard cash from their wallets to scare themselves in the
cold and pitch dark cinema. Scroll up this page and you’ll
see a term “genre”, and it tells you that this
movie is a “thriller”. Some research on the Internet
tells me that a “genre” is a loose set of criteria
for a category of composition, and is fixed by conventions.
Genres are vague categories with no fixed boundaries, and
in film context, are one of the most important factors in
determining what a person will watch.
for that matter, pay to watch.
I shall proceed to attempt explaining the term “sub-genre”.
To put it simply, genres can be divided into sub-genres. For
example, the thriller movie can be further branched into action
thrillers (Violence! Guns! Explosions!); disaster thrillers
(Floods! Earthquakes! Volcanoes!); erotic thrillers (Sex!
Jealousy! Murder!); and in this case - horror thrillers (Knives!
Screams! Blood!). First time director Bryan Bertino probably
understand the concept of genre movies well enough to make
this slasher film which does not have much of an objective
except to make viewers scared and jumpy every ten minutes
after churning out 200 odd words of pseudo intellectual blabber,
I shall attempt to finally talk about this movie starring,
well, eight characters (two good guys, three bad guys, three
other inconsequential supporting characters). Headlining the
movie is Scott Speedman (Underworld) and Liv Tyler (The Incredible
Hulk) who play a young couple who chose to stay in an isolated
vacation house after attending a wedding reception. Wrong
move, you two – because the lovely house will be invaded
by three masked strangers, and the let’s just say, there
will be blood.
is really nothing much to talk about here, considering that
the 83 minute movie wasn’t made with the intention to
tell a story. You just get three strangers (we can’t
imagine a more apt movie title) who turn up uninvited into
the couple’s life and makes things really difficult
for them. You can walk in halfway into the movie and still
understand what’s going on. In fact, the idea of three
masked strangers walking around the house and terrorizing
the clueless couple can be rather creepy – you wouldn’t
want that to happen in your prettily furnished house, would
you? This is where the movie delivers some fine scares –
not that a seasoned scary movie viewer won’t expect
is also nothing much to comment about the actors. Scottman
and Tyler tiptoe, crawl and run around the house looking petrified
and frightened. Once in a while, Tyler would let out a high
pitch shriek to add increase the tension of the otherwise
quiet movie. What we are amused with are the three faces behind
the masked strangers. What was it like appearing behind the
shadows for most of the movie? What was it like to pop out
of nowhere to scare the protagonists? What was it like to
get no recognition for being the most entertaining aspect
of this slasher horror thriller?
salute your professionalism: Gemma Ward, Kip Weeks and Laura
Margolis (yes, these are the actors behind those creepy masks).
(There is no indication of any plot in this movie, and is
strictly for fans of the slasher horror genre)
Review by John Li