After returning from a wedding reception, a couple staying in an isolated vacation house receive a knock on the door in the mid-hours of the night. What ensues is a violent invasion by three strangers, their faces hidden behind masks. The couple find themselves in a violent struggle, in which they go beyond what either of them thought capable in order to survive. Written by
During filming, in order to get an actual reaction from Liv Tyler, Bryan Bertino would tell her where to expect a loud bang from, but would then have the loud noise come from a completely different direction. See more »
Kristen goes to the shed to call for help on the short wave radio. She crouches under the table, placing the handset upright on the floor. In the next 2 shots, the handset is seen lying down. In the shot after that, just before she picks it up, the handset is upright. See more »
What you are about to see is inspired by true events. According to the FBI, there are an estimated 1.4 million violent crimes in America each year. On the night of February 11, 2005, Kristen McKay and James Hoyt left a friend's wedding reception and returned to the Hoyt family's summer home. The brutal events that took place there are still not entirely known.
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I seem to be approaching nihilist films on a streak, viewing "The Virgin Spring" recently. The Strangers has a lot of that "philosophy" crammed in. I read comments claiming the film doesn't connect us to the characters, and is crammed of every cliché to be. Oh the irony. When we see horror films, being attached to characters is a repeated figure, a screenwriter's must. Bertino does good in creating the night horror without any development, no overbearing crudeness, playing suspense and psychological terror like piano keys.
This is the approach: the strangers attack because their victims "are at home", and they do not respond to pleas, long reasonings or emotions. It's nihilism pure: they kill because they find control and domination powerful, and they don't care about consequences, moral or of any other kind.
In that optic, "The Strangers" is truly scary. We are not dealing with supernatural beings, but human beings, who chose the path of downright evil and can't be convinced of not doing it. People like that may be lurking out there, and that scares most of us viewers.
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