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The Strangers More at IMDbPro »

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454 out of 618 people found the following review useful:

What a waste of time

Author: Jason Kiff from United States
29 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*** Warning *** Spoilers *** For such a short film, this managed to cram in every senseless cliché of the so-called horror genre. '...Girl runs from bad guys, girl trips, girls falls and hurts herself, girl whimpers, duh...' No character development, no depth, no sympathy for the characters. '... bad guys are harassing your house and threatening you, so OF COURSE you get hysterical, cry, and seek out every spooky noise...' So bad guys are hacking at your front door with an ax, you've got a loaded shotgun in your hand, but you don't shoot, you throw a chair at the door, Oh Wait, I've got a gun! But by the time you think to shoot the bad guys are gone. So your under attack from bad guys and it's just you, your girlfriend, and a loaded shotgun, so instead of hunkering down and letting them come to you to get shot, you leave your girlfriend alone in the un-secured house while you wander off to the tool shed to find and old ham radio. Sure, makes sense. So you go visit your friends and someone shoots out your windshield, do you: A- drive off fast and call 911, B- call 911 then run in the house to check on your friends, or C- dust yourself off, sneak into the house quietly, without ever bothering to wonder why your friend's car is wrecked, who's pickup truck that is, why the house is trashed, don't bother turning off the loud stereo, or calling out your friends' names, in fact don't even bother to look behind you to see if maybe the people who shot out your windshield are still around. That's right - C !?!Everyone who died in this movie deserved to die for being such mindless, spineless, insipid, whimpering idiots. Maybe if you've never seen a movie before, ever, or if you've had recent head trauma, or maybe if you're Amish this movie might scare you. Maybe. Don't waste your time or money.

REVISION::: it's now Sunday 6/1. I originally posted the above comment after an advance screening of this movie late-night on thursday 5/29 (because I work at a movie theater I get to see all the movies before they're released.) So I've noticed something peculiar... there are, as of now, about 8 pages of comments on this film. About 3 pages of comments before mine (meaning before the movie came out) all gave The Strangers 9 or 10 stars, glowing reviews, and taglines like "best horror movie ever," "scariest film ever," and "awesome." But then, if you look at the dates of submission, 95% of all the comments posted after the movie was released say it's lackluster at best, anticlimactic, boring, lame, and not worth watching. So, I wonder, is that a coincidence, or maybe, just maybe, were all those people who posted great comments prior to the movie's release doing it for some other reason? Were they being paid to hype the film? Do they work for the production company? Or is it all just a big coincidence? Hmmm....

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168 out of 225 people found the following review useful:

A Tale Of Two Movies...

Author: terrible2 from Istanbul
19 November 2008

Like many, I went into this (knowing) the basics of the story. That being said, I found the first half of the film quite suspenseful and creepy by modern movie standards. The story begins by developing the relationship between it's two stars, then separating them and introducing the terror. This worked, and worked very well in it's ability to set up (and scare the hell out of) the viewers. Unfortunately, after we have established what is taking place, the story seems to slow to a simmer, and eventually fizzles out. The second half of the film is filled with horror movie cliché's and cheap scare tactics, almost to the point of boredom... It's a shame, because I haven't been a fan of slasher films since the eighties, and I REALLY wanted to "Like" this film.

My recommendation would be to watch the first half of the film, then go and sit by yourself in a cabin, somewhere in the woods. The effect would be much better, and the film would serve it's purpose.

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172 out of 240 people found the following review useful:

kill them already!

Author: mariz01 from United States
31 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

1. would you leave your girlfriend in a house with no neighbors to buy something, after some creepy girl out of nowhere just comes knocking on your door looking for someone you don't know??? NOOOOOOOOO 2. boyfriend: you have a gun, USE IT. don't use a chair.girlfriend: you have a knife, Don't LOSE IT. don't ever let it go..just because your boyfriend has arrived doesn't mean you should just let him protect you..protect yourself, don't be useless. grab every weapon you can imagine. 3. friend: you're waiting outside the house(WITH NO NEIGHBORS)and somebody throws a huge rock on your windshield AND YOU LOOK AROUND AND SEE THAT NO ONE'S THERE. what would a normal adult do? drive as fast as they can away, and call for help and come back. but no, he went down, he noticed that his friend's car is wrecked and there's an unfamiliar pickup parked in front. did he run back to his car and call for help as fast as he could? NOOOOO...he continued walking slowly, inside the house, not even looking back to see if somebody was behind, totally forgetting that maybe there's somebody out there:the one who threw something on his windshield. not even bothering to turn down the music, not even calling his friends name NOT WEVEN LOOKING BEHIND HIM OR ANY OTHER DIRECTION OTHER DIRECTION, IS IT HARD TO LOOK AROUND??? DUHHHH..... 4. you would've been saved if you stayed where you are. YOU HAVE THE could've waited inside the room and shoot the hell out the killers if they come in. if you missed, you're girlfriend's there with the knife, you could've helped each other out, oh wait she doesn't the knife or anything.. 5. would you leave your girlfriend inside the house knowing that they're everywhere, to hunt the killer in the woods? why would you even go to the woods? and you have the gun and your girlfriend has no weapon??? how inconsiderate!!!! and if i were the girl, i would never let my boyfriend out of sight. i will come with you with a knife, wherever you go. at least we can die together. 6. if you stumble in a barn complete with all the deadly, pointy things things you can see, wouldn't you take anything to protect yourself or maybe try and kill the killers? you could've found another axe there. 7. killers: kill them already, what's the point in all this scary tactics if you're just gonna stab them. no gruesome whatsoever. nothing imaginable. just plain kind of like a drunken stabbing incident. that's it. why wait till the morning and change her clothes, when you could've captured them right away and torture them to death instead. some stab-happy killers. 8. in the beginning of the movie, the narrator said it they still don't know what happened. his voice made it sound like it's so gruesome. and the 2 boys who called 911 i believe. they saw the killers.. didn't the police interview thwem and maybe get a sketch out of them????? they were staring at the killers for more a than 2 min, they could've remember what they looked like exactly... 9. oh and let's not forget the ever so cliché ending where you think the victim'as and then suddenly move..... 10. this movie is dragging and is so slow, you'd want the killers to just kill them already. no characted development either. for any of them...and one of the killers has asthma to add some creepyness...

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223 out of 354 people found the following review useful:

'Inspired' not 'Based' - Learn this before viewing. First Review.

Author: circuitdump-1 from United States
1 June 2008

First off, let's start with a note. It was 'inspired' not 'based' off true events. People need to learn the difference between the two. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is 'inspired' by true events, but still people believe it really happened. It never happened... it was inspired by the story of the serial killer Ed Gein who would take body parts off of women and make furniture out of them, and other forms of cruelty.The Strangers was 'inspired' by true events which means they probably took similarities from stories of The Manson killings and other killings of the same sort. So really the director had free range to do whatever the hell he wanted at the end, and I believe he failed.

I heard about this movie a long time ago and was so excited that it was finally being released that I saw it at the first midnight showing. At first, I was enjoying the set, costumes, and I believe the acting was pretty well done. I believe the director achieved a very creepy feeling, but too many times did he use to obvious cop-out of making loud noises to 'startle' the viewer instead of genuinely 'scaring' them. The site made an excellent article describing the differences between these.

In the end, I remember about two scenes and the rest is a vague blur. The scene with Glenn Howerton (of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia! fame. Woot!) was probably one of the most tense and unsettling scenes of the film. The other being the portion where the record is skipping.

This movie is a strong example of anti-climactic. The ending was a cliché. I won't give it away but I will say that it did not leave me feeling disturbed nor did it leave me with a sense of accomplishment. Two things I look for in an ending to the flood of "home-invasion" horror flicks. I believe two recent films do a great job of accomplishing these factors. The recent VACANCY and FUNNY GAMES are leaps and bounds greater than this film. They do a much greater job of making the protagonists feel helpless and I strongly suggest both of them.

Hopefully, I could help some. I know many will disagree with me, but quite honestly that's fine. Many of today's moviegoers enjoy paying $10 to jump out of their seat because someone's face appears in a window or a sound guy hits a wall really loud. It's the sad truth and Hollywood banks on crap like that. So it isn't going to end anytime soon.

Thanks, Alex

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147 out of 224 people found the following review useful:

Review of The Strangers - CONTAINS SPOILERS

Author: louhazosc from United States
1 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have used IMDb for years but have never registered to submit a review. However, after reading positive reviews on The Strangers and actually having it compared to "The Shining" and possibly being the best horror movie ever I HAD to comment.

First off, one of my favorite horror movies for scary and suspense is The Ring and horror movies I love are classics such as The Shining, The Exorcist, and comedic as Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness, The Saw series has also impressed me MOST of the time (3 was a dud). If you consider my choices terrible then stop reading, this review will not cater to you anyway.

Movies such as the Shining were incredible based on imagery and superb acting. Nightmares were brought onto the screen and it was not necessary to jump out and scare you. The twin sisters at the end of the hall just sucked! Images from the Ring - need I say more. Again there were the jump scenes but the images still scare me when I work alone at night in the office. Oh and the suspense just seeing water leaking into the room knowing that she was coming.

This DOES NOT happen at all in The Strangers. In 2008 horror has escalated to a point where it is difficult to cause a scare without the jump out and scare you. So The Strangers went the route of "The Sick and Twisted Family" who you see every single scene of in the previews. Guy in the burlap mask stands ominously in the kitchen without Liv seeing him....oooooo scary. The girl stands in the woods 100 yards away....oooo terrifying. The other girl is on the swing...oooo not that. They banged on the door and window a few times to really increase the tension though. Two times the girl even asked "Is Tara home?" is that "I am so stoned" voice

That was it!!! I promise you. Oh wait, the guy in the mask jumped onto the window once when Liv was looking out. OK, you got me, I jumped. Every line that the Strangers say in the previews is their complete dialog - "You're gonna die" and "Because you were home" THAT WAS IT. Well, a couple more at the very end. You want a sick twisted family?? Rob Zombie hit the peak on that one, sorry. What's in the killer's head is far more scary than a mask...Hannibal maybe?

So eventually The Strangers make their way in. Oh, disturbing images and massive bloodshed that made this rated R? Are you serious? You ready? Liv cuts her hand really really really bad, a shotgun blow to the head where the impact isn't show but the body is on the ground for a while and some head is missing, then the grand finale? Our main characters are tied up and a butcher's knife is slowly inserted by each Stranger into the victims, 2 in the guy, one in Liv - no blood...

Movie over. You like it?

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398 out of 727 people found the following review useful:

One of the best suspense movies ever

Author: dannyg4 from United States
16 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Saw the screening for this film and it was truly terrifying. The whole audience was screaming at parts and there are several scenes that make you jump. The tension buildup during the movie is incredible. Some of the scenes are disturbing but not overly gory. Liv Tyler does a convincing job of making you feel the fright and a lot of the acting is non-verbal. Scott Speedman also does an excellent and believable job. With todays crazy headlines, this is the kind of movie that you can actually imagine happening somewhere in this country in real life. Trust me, at the end of this movie you will be double checking the locks on your doors and windows.

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107 out of 158 people found the following review useful:

Commercial scarier than actual movie ***Spoilers***

Author: bbman911 from US
1 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was so excited to see this movie I took the day off work to go see it...what a waste. I kept thinking "Here we go", "Okay, this is it" for the movie to actually get going...but I was wrong each time.

The director spends too much time getting us to like the couple in the movie, but honestly does a terrible job at that. The opening sets the stage for a terrific movie. A 911 call saying "there is blood everywhere". Really? After seeing the movie, I expect to only see blood in two places, not exactly everywhere.

Most of the "strangers" actions are done to scare the audience, not the characters in the movie. How many times can the "strangers" be seen in the background but the main characters don't realize is that scary to them if they don't know they are there??? The trailer actually is a bit scarier than the actual movie, especially once you see the ending... I still can't believe that the director/writer/et al actually watched the climax of the movie and said, "that nailed it, perfect!!!" So anticlimactic that they felt obliged to thrown in a cheap "gotcha"/starting scene right at the end of the movie. (wait did I accidentally see "Scream"?)

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99 out of 144 people found the following review useful:

Almost less boring than staring at a blank wall

Author: dead_donnie from United States
1 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As everyone probably anticipated, this film is another in a seemingly endless string of unbearable formulaic pap that Hollywood has been spewing out for the past nine billion years. This film wasn't exactly horrible, and I admit I was hoping against all reason that it might succeed at least a tiny bit in creating an eerie mood and generating some genuine scares, but no, that's just too much to ask for. Without going in to too much detail, I can tell you that the first 30 minutes or so are sort of creepy, but the rest is nothing but cheap, unnecessarily noisy scares and way too many glimpses of these totally unintimidating people in stupid looking masks. And yes, as the previews implied, the movie really does revolve entirely around the gimmick that these people are wearing scary looking masks. And that's it. The highlight of the movie, for me, was the "hey that's the dude from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia!" part. So if you like watching Liv Tyler's upper lip continue to be bigger than her lower lip and people in stupid masks walking around banging on things, this is the movie for you. Oh, and it's completely anti-climactic as well. A true Hollywood gem.

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173 out of 297 people found the following review useful:

'The Strangers' are a little TOO scary...

Author: Jay Addison from United States
23 July 2008

We all know the plot: young couple, isolated vacation home, people in masks. Yet from the start of 'The Strangers' it's clear that this film is a different. In today's bloodthirsty society, horror films are often reduced to nothing more than gore-filled gross-out fests. While many young teens may rejoice at such films, many of us still long for original, suspenseful, and, yes, terrifying horror movies. 'The Strangers' came so close.

There is plenty here to recommend: Director Bryan Bertino shows himself to be a patient and smart director. Rather than going for just cheap thrills, he wisely builds tension up to near-breaking point. The feeling of suspense and dread that covers the whole film is classic. Both Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman do well in their leading roles, and the strangers themselves are things of pure terror... yet that's where the film loses some of its commendation. The strangers at times seem that they can't possibly be human because they are made to be almost supernatural in their abilities. They appear and disappear seemingly at will and instantly- a power the young couple probably wished they had but don't because they are, after all, HUMANS. It's a simple mistake used to give the audience one of those cheap thrills that were otherwise so wisely avoided. What makes it sad is that in every other aspect, 'The Strangers' is chillingly realistic and terrifyingly possible. Every time those strangers come and go like ghosts of some kind, it makes the audience sit back once more and say, 'Ah, well, it's just a movie." That's too bad.

Still, 'The Strangers' is much better than your average horror fare. It's at last a new movie that realizes what you don't show can be even more scary than what you do. Still, one hopes that Mr. Bertino can touch up the mistakes from this film and , and deliver a really great horror movie next time around. 7/10 stars! Jay Addison

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57 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

The characters in Friday the 13th are Rhodes Scholars compared to the characters in The Strangers

Author: Dan Grant ( from Toronto, Ontario
7 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you are a fan of horror films, then you have probably seen Scream. In it, Randy, the resident expert of the idiocy of horror movies, gives you the rules of horror films. In it he tells of all the things you should do in a horror film, but end up not doing anyway. I think this film is inspired by Randy's dialogue in Scream. This is the most clichéd horror film in the history of clichéd horror films. Comparing this to Halloween or the Shining makes me throw up in my mouth a little. It is just plain blasphemy. This is nothing like the greats from the 70's and the 80's. It's not even as good as CHUD, Friday the 13th or any other decent but flawed horror film.


First, you are being hunted in the house, you have a shotgun that can blow a hole through an elephant, and you are in a room that has one way in and one way out. You are safe. All you have to do is wait it out or the both of you leave the house together with the safety of the shotgun. Or of course the alternative is to separate and one person stays behind without the shotgun, the other goes to a barn to find a two way radio. The last thing sane people do is separate. If I was being hunted in my cottage with my wife by my side, the last thing I would do is let her stay behind while I go find a radio. She would be by my side all the time.

The best friend comes over at about 4 in the morning. He sees his buddies car bashed up. He sees the door with axe marks in it. He can see that something isn't quite right. Then has something smash his window. What should he do? Before entering the house, he should call the police and report suspicious behavior. But no, of course not, he enters the house with the loud playing music and doesn't call his friends name, or turn the music off, he of course walks silently into the open doorway and gets shot in the face by his best friend.

The classic case of not believing your girlfriend when she tells you that someone has been in the house. "No sweetie, you just imagined that you saw someone and you must of dropped your cell into the fire." Sure that happens all the time.

Every one of these characters deserved to die. They were stupid, unrealistic and completely clichéd in the worst possible way. And for the makers of the film to pretend this is based on true events is ever so manipulative. I read the supposed case this is based on and saying this is based on a true story is like saying Rambo is a love story. It's just plain wrong.

The Strangers is one of the most incompetent films I have ever seen. There is no suspense, no thrills, no chills. There could of been, but you lose all feelings of remorse or sense of caring for the main characters because the screenplay betrays them so much.

1/10 Truly, truly horrible film.

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