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31 Days of Halloween: Day 25: The Strangers (2008) – Will Have Your Blood Run Cold

str_fs_hp_041608.qxd:Layout 1Category: Thriller/ Horror/ Mystery
Actors: Scott Speedman, Liv Tyler, Gemma Ward
Duration: 86 min
Rated: R

You might like this movie if you enjoyed:
Funny Games (1997, US-Remake: 2007), The Purge (2013)

Long Story Short:
The couple James and Kristen live in a very isolated house. One night, after coming home from a wedding, they are being visited by three masked strangers whose only goal seems to terrorize them.

Review:
The Strangers has a very simple concept: it takes place in one location, is shot entirely with handheld cameras or steady cams, and has very little dialogues. However, there is no way anyone can turn away or get bored from it. The music and terrifying atmosphere kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time. I was a grown man when this movie came out, but I was still shaky after watching it. Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman are so convincing, and the intruders so creepy, it makes you feel like you actually see a real crime happening. It sometimes gets unbearable to follow the events, especially since it is advertised to be inspired by true events. After doing some research I found out that it is supposed to be inspired by the Keddle Resort Murders, which happened in Northern California in 1981, but this was never confirmed by anyone, furthermore writer and director Bryan Bartino mentioned once that the idea came from a childhood experience, which was a little less frightening than the actual movie.
I have to admit I have only seen The Strangers when it came out in 2008 and never dared to see it again, but I am planning on watching it during my 31 Days of Halloween. I wonder if my opinion about this movie has changed. Let me know what you think about it. After watching The Stranger, you will definitely check twice if your door is locked.

Rating: 8.5/10

25 Comments »

  1. Great review! I saw this one in theatres back when it came out. I have to say that it had me creeped out for half of the movie then it started feeling slightly repetitive and I hated the ending…Still, the first half had a great pace, amazing cast, and super intense atmosphere. 🙂

      • Ah, I know the feeling. Not sure what is keeping you all hectic, but hope you get to play catch up sometime soon!

      • Thank you, I am in the middle of applying for my green card, actually I already sent off all the paper work, but I noticed I should have made extra copies even though is wasn’t demanded. Turns out papers get lost or kept in one office while sending it to another one. It is frustrating and holds back the process for about 60 days every time this happens. And I was looking forward to getting my work permit soon… I am also running the social medias and administrations for my spouses business, which is a fashion company. So a lot going on! 😀 Thanks for your kind thoughts! Sending you hugs!

      • Wow! Sounds so very busy! Where are you originally from if you need a green card now? I hope it all comes together soon 🙂 Ah, that is sweet of you to do for your spouse! Helpful too, I am sure! Anytime!

      • Oh lovely! I have always wanted to go to Germany and check it out. How are you enjoying the States? (That is where you are, right?)

      • Yes, that’s where I am! 😀 Well, I am in Southern Illinois, the South is always a little more conservative and reserved, you are constantly warned not to drive to unknown places because apparently racism does still exist in a large extend, but besides that I would say it is definitely doable. 😀 It is about what you make out of it. I am trying to think positive., and that shines on other, and people see that I am an easy going person. I attended college for three semesters, met some interesting people, made it on the President’s for my A-average! 😀 But this semester I had to take a break because the green card was too expensive.

      • Ah sounds lovely. Oh dear, sad thing that it is still such a big issue in places (it is pretty bad here in South Africa). Wonderful, what are you studying? I hope it gets sorted so that you can carry on with your studies/work, whatever you feel like.

      • Thanks, darling! I had a three year training in the hotel industry back in Germany, so at first I went for business administration, but i switched into Arts, because I am writing a book and needed some guidance in creative writing, plus I always wanted to take a photography class… so here I am… LoL

      • Oh I know a German who was trained in Germany, and he is exceptionally good at what he does, they get trained intensely!

        Oh, those will complement each other nicely!

        Ah, you can never have too many courses, I believe firmly in education. I have big plans for when my first big degree course is done, so many things I want to study!

      • What is your major? Yes, we are getting trained extremely hard, but I am glad I went through that training, now I am ready for whatever may come. But at the same time I am nervous since the last time I worked in a hotel was almost two years ago, since all I have been doing here was studying… 😀

      • Not sure how the studies work over there, but I am studying psychology. Good, hard training is always worth it, that way you are confident in your knowledge of something. It is okay, you will slip back into it quickly I am sure. Sounds like you enjoy the industry!

      • Oh my god, I love the hospitality business, I want to open a small luxury hotel with bar and club one day! But first I will help build up my better half’s business! 😀 One thing at a time.

      • 🙂 Great idea. At least you have mastered one step at a time, that is how you build something! Glad to hear you love it, it will never feel like work then!

  2. Even as I thought it could have been better, I liked it for the atmosphere, but what I found is that most of my friends didn’t like it. Not really the kind of movie most of the people want to watch, i guess 🙂

    • That’s the thing, I thought the same: It could have been better. But then I was trying to figure out how it could have ended or went differently to be better. And I really couldn’t think of anything, it gave me more chills than any other movie to be honest. Sure, there wasn’t much gore, and the ending left me with a bit of sour aftertaste, but the atmosphere created in this movie was very terrifying. What would you have changed?

      • may be a better motive for the attack, but the lack of its makes the whole thing creepier – like saying “because you were home” – they didn’t even say that they enjoyed murders; another thing about how she remained alive in the end. i doubt if any addition would make it better; may be a whole restructuring could do the trick, keeping the atmosphere – i guess this is a movie worth a future remake. i was reading about Youre’ Next – how shall a comparison go?

      • Well, the whole scenario of being attacked in an isolated home without warning or knowing who your attackers are reminded me of The Stranger when I watched it. While You’re Next has better gore, the creep factor in The Strangers is definitely higher. Plus the victims are different: In You’re Next the victims manages to fight back. I would love to see a prequel, so we get to know the intruders maybe. But not knowing what their motivation is was actually one of the things I like about it, and I normally hate being left without explanation. It just worked for this one, I guess. I get your point, a remake would work, too.

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