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The Strangers (2008) Review

by Yo Adrian on January 10th, 2020 | | , ,

The Strangers was directed by Bryan Bertino (who also directed The Monster and Mockingbird) and stars Liv Tyler (from Wildling), Scott Speedman (from Out of the Dark, The Moth Diaries) and Laura Margolis (from Sounds Like). It’s about a couple who find themselves the random targets of a terrorizing home invasion.

Lock the door. Pretend you’re safe.

The Strangers Review

Home invasion horror movies are a love/hate thing for me. I love them because they’re one of the scariest genre of horror movies I know of. And I hate them because they’re one of the scariest genre of horror movies I know of. I find them scary because I know they happen in real life. I don’t actually think a ghost is going to crawl out of my TV or that a Ghoulie is going to crawl out of my toilet. I do, however, know that home invasions happen all the time. There’s probably one happening in your own city this very moment.

I’ve seen a lot of home invasion horrors and can tell you The Strangers is unique among them all. In The Strangers, an unhappy couple are staying in a vacation rental in some suburban area. They get home invaded in the middle of the night and terror ensues. So far, no different from every other home invasion movie. But The Strangers has something special going for it, the neighborhood this vacation rental is in happens to be completely vacated.

No neighbors. No barking dogs. No cars passing by. Nobody around to help.

And the home invading psychopaths know it. They make so much noise and draw so much attention to themselves. In every other movie (except for maybe Hush) the criminals have to stay somewhat low key or risk someone calling the cops. Not in this one. They could shoot off fireworks and nobody would see.

As for the experience itself, watching it is a bit of a roller coaster. It starts off as a serious drama, nearly a half hour goes by before seeing any action. Then the action kicks in, no holds barred. But then it starts to drift and becomes repetitive and often unrealistic (the terrorizers have the uncanny ability to just disappear and re-materialize anywhere at will). But then it jumps out and grabs you again. This movie had me up and down the entire time.

Of course, it helped that just the idea of home invasions was enough to freak me out.

Worth Watching?

Definitely. Whether home invasion movies are your thing or not, it’s a really good thriller that almost bleeds into slasher territory (pun intended). There’s a number of familiar tropes that are clearly used to prolong the story and there’s more than a couple jump scares, but nothing that cheapens the movie. And it has an epic soundtrack, I could watch it again just for that.


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