6.5/10
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54 user 12 critic

When Strangers Appear (2001)

A man enters a roadside diner run by a young woman and claims he is being chased by murderers.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Beth
...
Peter
...
Jack Barrett
...
Bryce
Jonathan Blick ...
Stephen (as Johnny Blick)
Eryn Wilson ...
Roger
...
Bernie
Steven Ray ...
Dr. Eric Leonard
Dra McKay ...
Lynda
Seraphine Rochery ...
Tracey
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Storyline

Beth, a young woman who owns a restaurant close by an abandoned highway, shelters Barry, a young man who arrives at her door hungry and wounded. Soon, a group of men appears. Barry claims that they are after him. The handsome leader of the group tells Beth a different story... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The star of PITCH BLACK is fighting back! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

22 January 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Shearer's Breakfast  »

Box Office

Budget:

NZD 3,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Even though the film is set in Oregon, USA, the Firestone ad on the side of the gas station refers to "tyres" not "tires". Beth also refers to the "car park", a term which is not used in the USA. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Beth: [after her cigarette gets damp] Shit!
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is an epilogue in the style of the The Blair Witch Project (1999) at the end of the credits. See more »

Connections

References The House by the Lake (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Atomic
Written by Debbie Harry and Jimmy Destri
Performed by Blondie
Courtesy of EMI Music
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User Reviews

 
An excellent mystery thriller!
18 July 2007 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

When Strangers Appear wasn't marketed very well to say the least - the trailer makes it out to be another Scream clone - and that's a real shame as this little thriller is an excellent film that really deserves to be more seen! New Zealand born director Scott Reynolds previously made the decent psychological thriller 'The Ugly', but with this film he really upped the bar. The beauty of When Strangers Appear is the fact that for most of the film, the audience never really knows what is going on, and that is exactly how a mystery thriller should be! The film starts off as we follow Beth to work. It seems like an ordinary (boring) day, until a strange drifter walks in. After giving him breakfast, he disappears when three surfers turn up. He claims that the surfers are following him and are also the reason for his stab wound. However, the trio of surfers have a very different story, as it transpires that the stranger appears to be a dangerous psychopath. After a shocking turn of events, Beth finds herself in the middle of an extremely dangerous situation.

This film works thanks to the way that Scott Reynolds builds the atmosphere and tension. The central character, Beth, is very easy to feel for; while the supporting cast are all mysterious enough to generate interest themselves. The film is topped off by a whole host of brilliantly tense situations that help to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. The bathroom scene is the biggest standout in this respect, and is positively nail biting! The isolated setting compliments the story excellently, and helps to build intrigue in its own right. The plot builds nicely throughout, and there's never a shortage of things happening. The fact that the film only features a handful of characters is certainly to its benefit too as it means that the film never loses its focus and this ensures that it's always easy to buy into the plot. It's true that When Strangers Appear isn't very substantial overall, but as a thriller it serves it's purpose well all the way up until the explosive ending and I see no reason why this film wont be enjoyed by anyone who takes the time to watch it. Very much recommended!


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