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A Tale Of Two Movies...
terrible219 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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What a waste of time
J_M_Kiff29 May 2008
Warning: 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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The Joys of Sadism
jacklmauro25 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Can we finally acknowledge that horror films have largely turned into another genre, that of sadism? There is a huge difference between film bloodshed and gore that is a part of a horrific/suspenseful scenario, and that which is done so the audience can watch people undergo agony, as in the 'Hostel' franchise. I can't take it. It is not scary; it's just disgusting. As in this film. Take away the idiot decisions about the gun, going outside, leaving your girl alone in an isolated home after a freak comes by, calling for help, etc., and there's the making for good, scary suspense. Turn it into an exercise in extended sadism, and it's purely gratuitous in a disturbing way. Do people actually think it's 'scary' or 'suspenseful' to watch the girl beg for her life, as she sees her guy stabbed and stabbed? It's not. It's unrelenting misery and there's something way wrong with anyone who thinks it's good filmmaking. The strangers were extremely terrifying, and there are psychopaths out there. But this nightmare of torture and sadism is NOT a great scary movie (which I love as a genre), or suspenseful. It's mean and ugly, and what scares me is how torture is the new horror.
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The characters in Friday the 13th are Rhodes Scholars compared to the characters in The Strangers
baumer7 July 2008
Warning: 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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kill them already!
mariz0131 May 2008
Warning: 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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The Strangers - Predictable and stupid
idrow3 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I couldn't even get through this movie. The whole first 45 minutes revolves around trying to explain the fact that they can't go for help and it's just ridiculous. First of all, nobody leaves their house without their phone charged. Liv Tyler's character goes out to dinner and when she comes home her phone is dead. Sure. Second, she manages to get to her land line when someone is trying to break into her house. Does she call 911? Nooooo....she calls the boyfriend asking him to come home. Then the land line goes dead. The boyfriend manages to make it home, but *gasp* leaves his cell in his car. He goes out to get the cell and *gasp* it's gone. While he's outside does he go to a neighbor's house for help? Noooo...he goes back inside. Then they decide they have to get out of there so they make it to the car. When they get to the street, they see a car coming at them, so they stop instead of trying to avoid the other car and go around. Then they see a car coming at them from behind. Do they gun the car and go around the one in front? Noooo....they sit there and get hit from behind. What to do now? Run back into the house, of course. I couldn't take any more at this point. Both of them are so useless I don't even care if they get killed at this point.

This movie is just frustrating and predictable. Can't Hollywood even make an attempt to come up with something original any more?
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Almost less boring than staring at a blank wall
dead_donnie1 June 2008
Warning: 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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Commercial scarier than actual movie ***Spoilers***
bbman9111 June 2008
Warning: 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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What to say about this awful dreck?
lilwhitehand3 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This film is a turd of a turdwellian turdmeister to the turd power. Lets see, a lot of implausible stuff - baddies who can appear and disappear at will, one baddie maybe six feet tall the two others waifish and barely five feet tall against two healthily built people with a shotgun and a lot of magnum shells, victims who just don't want to lock their doors in the face of this sudden brutality, big open swaths of land outside their front door in which the victims could have fled in any number of directions and -o.k. o.k. no more. I guess the movie would have been over in twenty minutes if it tried to remotely approach a tiny little slice of believability.

Me so tired of this type of film. Me bet newbies to the horror genre see this and think its the greatest achievement in a horror type thingy. When I think about this film I'm just amazed at how it really missed its mark. Sad thing or maybe the sickest thing is that I couldn't feel anything for the victims and did not care about their fates.

Anything positive? Yeah. I got turned on to the sweet musical style of Joanna Newsome. If you can get something worthwhile from this movie than more power to you!

Me go now.
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Review of The Strangers - CONTAINS SPOILERS
louhazosc1 June 2008
Warning: 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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'Inspired' not 'Based' - Learn this before viewing. First Review.
circuitdump-11 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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Oh my god...
cronicallystoic30 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Oh my freaking god this needs to be the last, I'm a dumb bitch and got killed by dumber murders movie ever. Holy Christ in Heaven, frosty the snowman is scarier than this damn movie. Freaking god, it was one hour and twenty minutes of me wanting Liv Tyler to hurry up and die, and damn it all if she didn't live. It doesn't take an hour to kill two morons, trust me. In fact, I could have killed them all seventeen and half times over by then. Seinfeld was scarier. Dora the damn Explorer is scarier. Quit acting Liv Tyler and other pointless guy no one cares about. Quit directing Bryan, you have NO talent. This movie was free and I demand my $34 dollars back for life wasted. At least cigarettes tell you you're about to lose some of your life. Seriously.
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Is there an adjective that describes worse than "terrible?" Feel free to use it.
Bobbyh-225 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Let me start by saying that I like scary movies...but to be effectively scary, a movie has to follow some coherent internal logic. This one doesn't. Characters in a good scary movie ought to behave--at least initially--as though their brains were functioning. These characters don't. There's nothing wrong with gore and brutality--assuming they're used for some reason. No rhyme or reason here. A group of masked kids terrorize a young couple who, as the film unwinds, behave inexplicably--leaving each other alone at moments where it makes no sense to do so, failing to make use of potential weapons at their disposal until it is, conveniently, too late for the weapons to do any good. Why does all this happen? Who knows? Who cares? Fairness compels me to point out that most of the audience--almost exclusively between the ages of 13 and 15 (which should have tipped us off) spend the entire length of the movie screaming constantly, which, I imagine, was why they'd come. To suggest that this film deserves remotely to be compared with films like "Psycho," "Silence of the Lambs," or "Alien"...well, I'm at a loss for words that aren't too tasteless for this forum. What a criminal waste of celluloid.
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Like Halloween, but terrible
socialretard4201 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The worst movie i have seen in a long time, and i just watched Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter

The first half hour is kind of humorous, with this guy having the worst day ever, but then the final hour is just the exact same thing over and over

There are people with masks, not killing them just to mess with them, and then they run and hide, and the masked people show up again, not harming them, so they run and hide until the completely predictable "climax", seeing how its the first thing you see in the movie

any attempt to scare you was an overpowering soundtrack and something flashing up on the screen

there wasn't suspense, there wasn't terror, there was just tripe
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Romantic Comedy
cromano_5331 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was flat out horrible. I went to see this movie and the whole theatre laughed at this movie for its horrible pop-ups and lack of plot, violence, and acting. I understand the whole "This could happen to you" appeal of the movie but at least work on some good scary moments. Not to mention the main villain sounds like a retarded 6 year-old. Finally the scene in which the Christians give the killers some pamphlets was a completely pointless scene which added nothing to the film what soever and was a waste of 2-4 minutes of my life, even more so than the rest of this movie. This movie is horrible please don't watch it.
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'The Strangers' are a little TOO scary...
jaddison38323 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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Review: The Strangers.
ts-000026 April 2020
Not sure why it has,numerous negative reviews? Was enjoyable,suspenseful in places & of course typical clichés. You can't help but feel uneasy,because this could happen.. A stranger pulls into your drive or knocks on your door,what's their motive? When October comes around,it's always one that gets played.
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Boring is the new scary
NightOwl029 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This movie starts out contrived and goes down hill from there. We see an attractive couple coming home from a social engagement. The man is sad and moody, the woman crying silently to herself. Through clumsy flashbacks we learn that the young man proposed marriage and his willowy flame said she was not ready for such a commitment. They come home, mope about for a while, almost have sex and are then terrorized by masked killers. I guess we are supposed to identify with the young couple because they are young and attractive. We have nothing else to go on because the characterization is so sketchy and lazy. Even archetypes need some sort of specificity in order to engender audience identification. The filmmaker's are proceeding from the premise that audiences don't care about character development and just want to get to the sadism. Perhaps for certain brain dead twenty somethings this will be enough. I was bored with the film from the word go. Every scene that is supposed to be suspenseful has been ripped off from another much better thriller. This film is a combination of Halloween and Scream with a little torture porn thrown in at the end for desperation's sake. The beautiful Liv Tyler is utterly wasted in a role that requires her to act like a mentally challenged five year old. A strange woman with obviously menacing intentions bangs on Tyler's door repeatedly. Instead of trying to contact the police, Tyler lights a cigarette, charges her cell phone, puts on a different outfit, calls her boyfriend on her house phone and generally behaves like a moron. It is hard to sympathize with someone who does not have one shred of a survival instinct. The killers have no motivation and stalk and kill the couple because they enjoy behaving in hateful and psychotic ways. Frankly the young couple is so useless and shallow it is hard to feel any sense of loss. The entire film is shot with hand held shaky cam techniques that the filmmaker's obviously hope will pass for a style. The only tension I felt while watching the film was a growing sense of annoyance that it was not over yet. The sense of dread and fun that is found in a masterpiece like Halloween is completely absent in this robotic-ally sadistic film. The film-making and script-writing are so lazy it is insulting. The couple is stalked and then they are killed in a brutal and obvious fashion. Somehow this process takes over an hour and a half to occur. For young audiences I suppose the payoff is the couple being killed with the stalking as some sort of foreplay. I truly do not understand the appeal of films like this. At least Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street attempted some sort of mythology. A film like this is a sad example of the limited and unimaginative fodder that passes for horror today. The only thing I really took away from this trash was a depressing feeling that what really excites people now is watching anonymous human suffering. If you are considering watching this piece of garbage I would recommend watching the artful and terrifying foreign thriller entitled "Them."
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Nihilism A la Carte
billion_mucks1 October 2008
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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Watch only if you love Liv Tyler and/or you're bored as hell.
Averlienb30 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I've watched many horror movies before, some are boring, some are creepy.

This movie is creepily boring.

It's started slow and vague; I have no idea what's going on with the main characters at least until minute 15.

It has a few moments where viewers led to believe that some action is finally going on, but the moments will die down without anything notable. The uses of loud noises instead of some real thrilling scenes are utterly annoying.

The end is just horrible. Viewers never know what's the motive of the murderers, never even shown the faces, least of all who they are and where they came from. Sure the film makers use the "the murderers can be anyone and the killing can happen to anybody" excuse, but then what's the point of making a movie when 80% of the storyline is left to the audience's imagination?

To save everyone from having a cardiac arrest, be prepared for a loud scream from Liv Tyler at the last scene. It's not scary nor interesting, just lame.
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Half a movie
bennyhagen2 September 2010
The first 45 minutes are quite intense, the whole setup just works fine and the simple but effective cinematography is nice to watch. Though I was not really convinced by Speedman's attempt to reflect intense emotions, you can always rely on Liv Taylor, who is - given a rather thin piece of script - really working her ass off to get the most out of it. Congratulations for that. The mocking "Strangers" start off being quite scary and the concept seems to be somewhat more original then we probably got used too, so it all seems like we're going to have a good time, but then suddenly everything freezes in the most inelegant manner, as the makers seemingly just ran out of any kind of idea how to continue this promising movie. That means, there is almost literally NOTHING new happening from around minute 45, it feels writer and director Bryan Bertino had half a decent script and then needed to finish it in about 2 hours due to a deadline or something. So the other 45 minutes are basically prolonging 2 jump scares and 3 lines of really basic dialog with minimum creativity, like lights turning off and the after a few minutes on again for no obvious reason, till the point where some kind of climax should occur, which then never really happens. Instead we get something really unrefined and boring featuring not a bit of fantasy, it's just like no one really cared anymore.

I'd recommend though watching the first half of the movie and then striding around in some dark forest for a while, that surely does the job much better. 4/10
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Who knew they still made movies like this?
Wolf30x30 May 2008
The Strangers is a movie that delivers everything it promises it would. It scares you. Simple as that. Instead of relying on buckets of gore and an over-contrived premise, it keeps things simple and thats what makes it work. For an hour and a half, the viewer is subjected to a slowly mounting sense of dread that just keeps building without ever pulling back. The story never falls victim to the usual horror movie clichés, but at the same time , it doesn't make any ridiculous attempts to go against them. Perhaps the best thing that the movie has going for it is it's believability. There isn't really any thing to distract the viewer from buying into the premise wholeheartedly. Considering that this is the director's first ever movie, it's a feat that's even more impressive. This is the kind of movie you shouldn't watch at home alone in the dark.
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One of the best suspense movies ever
dannyg416 November 2007
Warning: 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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Stupid people tormented by stupid killers
hall89512 September 2012
Here we have a horror movie which sadly is much more laughable than scary. The characters are stupid. The story, not that there actually is much of a story, is stupid. There are no big scares to jolt you out of your seat. Really there's nothing to prevent you from yawning or flat-out dozing off. When the movie ended I was stunned to find out it was less than 90 minutes long. It seemed much longer. It honestly feels interminable. Please just let the killers put their victims out of their misery. Then we who have the misfortune to be watching can be put out of our misery as well.

So the setup is that a young couple, played by Scott Speedman and Liv Tyler, are spending the night in some house out in the middle of nowhere. There's a knock on the door. A really, really loud knock. That's about the most chilling thing the movie has to offer, a loud knock on the door. Anyhow our young couple ends up being terrorized by three people in goofy masks. Everyone involved, goofy mask people and their potential victims, acts very stupidly. Our victims have apparently never seen any horror movies as, rather than wait in the house with the freaking shotgun they have, they decide to go running around outside in the dark. Because running around in the dark always ends well in these situations, no? Our silly mask people are very lucky that their prey are so stupid because they are quite stupid themselves. If anyone involved in this story had any working brain cells the whole thing would've been over in five minutes. And what a blessed relief that would have been. Instead it goes on and on, Liv Tyler just keeps screaming and the would-be killers just keep, well, standing there. They never really do anything. Ooh, look a guy with a bag on his face is standing in the corner! Scary, right? Nope, not really. There is no action, no drama, no tension. It's all very predictable right from the beginning, probably not helped by the fact the movie basically gives away its ending right at the start. We go through all the horror movie clichés as the movie limps meekly towards a thoroughly unsatisfying end. Boring, unoriginal, quite stupid. That's The Strangers in a nutshell.
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Scariest film ever made? I think not.
Freebird31410 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
What are people talking about? Scariest film ever made? I seen EVERYTHING coming. You must have never seen any of the Friday the 13ths. They basically had the same plot just instead of Jason, you have strangers. I actually think the Friday the 13ths took more thought and had better scenes than this film did. I mean, the whole movie was about putting this couple through hell until the buildup and then there should have been a better ending. But no, all this buildup just to show them tied up and stabbed. It didn't even show that. What was the writer of this crap thinking? This film could have become another Texas Chainsaw Massacre if it had a better story behind it. But instead, it's a piece of crap.
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