Ever since The Strangers was released in May, I’ve been asked have I seen it and did I like it. So, to answer the questions once and for all – Yes, I’ve seen it and no, I did not like it and here is my reasons why.
The Strangers had tremendous promise, after seeing the trailer and the TV spots for this movie, it reminded me of a horror movie that should have been released in the 70’s. I was excited and ready for something great and what I got was a lackluster “horror” movie.
I will commend the movie on its incredible craft, but that’s all ruined by the constant cat and mouse game and the lack of an interesting story.
The movie begins with Kristen McKay (Liv Tyler) and James Hoyt (Scott Speedman) coming home from a wedding and arriving at the Hoyt family isolated summer home. The first thing we are hit with is the obvious tension between Kristen and James and as the movie goes on we see that James had proposed to Kristen and she said no.
Right there, that really made me not like her character at all, she just seemed too much of cold person and in my opinion I didn’t really care if her character survived.
We then see the couple settle into the summer home and they begin to discuss their relationship, only to be interrupted by a knock on the front door. They answer the door and a woman stands there and asks if Tamara is home.
I guess this was supposed to be scary, but to be completely honest; there was nothing remotely freaky about this. Maybe it’s me and maybe it’s because I’ve seen tons of horror movies, that this moment in the movie just did not scare me one bit, not even a shiver.
After this event, James leaves the house to get Kristen a pack of cigarettes. This leaves Kristen alone and the woman returns, doing the exact same thing she did the first time. It didn’t scare me before, why the heck are they repeating the same kind of scare?
The people outside of the house then continue to terrorize Kristen, by knocking on the house from all different locations. I don’t want to give it all away, just in case you do want to watch the movie; I will say that the scares I just told you about are the same kind of scares you’ll get for the entire movie.
What I’m really disappointed about is that the director had a great concept and a great idea and was just not executed properly. The idea of people just invading your home to kill you “Because you were home” is a very unsettling and scary concept. These killers in this movie are not doing this act because they want revenge, they’re just doing it to do it and with the long dragged out cat and mouse game the movie looses that effect and also looses all of its tension.
Things I like about this movie is its intentions to do something creepy and also the mask the male killer wears, that’s a mask that could have gone down in horror history if the movie was done properly.
In 2010 we’ll be given another story in the world of The Strangers in The Strangers 2. In order for that movie to work it needs to have more happen and also have a story. I’ll say this now, please will someone write a decent script to go with this worthy idea of a horror movie.
I know a lot use the argument, oh, you like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street, but you don’t like The Strangers? That’s a fact, the stories in the original Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street are actually good, solid stories and the sequels stories loss a lot of that and went into more camp, but the truth is those movies have stories and something to keep you entertained and The Strangers simply doesn’t have a story – it’s just a lot of screaming.
** Out of Four