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DVD Review: The Strangers

DVD Review: The Strangers


Inspired by true events, this heart pounding, nail-biting frightener mercilessly explores our most universal fears, where simply opening the door to a stranger leads to a grueling night of terror one could never imagine. Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman star in this relentless suspense thriller that will keep you up at night and make you never want to answer the door again!

“What you are about to see is inspired by true events. According to the FBI, there are an estimated 1.4 million violent crimes in America each year. On the night of February 11, 2005, Kristen McKay and James Hoyt left a friend’s wedding reception and returned to the Hoyt family’s summer home. The brutal events that took place there are still not entirely known.”

These eerie words set the pace for this intense thriller that will remind you that even at home, you might not be so safe. I haven’t seen this style of Hitchcock suspense since Alfred himself was behind the wheel.

James Hoyt (Scott Speedman) and Kristen McKay (Liv Tyler) are a young couple who showed up at their family’s vacation home to spend the evening. You can tell right out of the gate that there is trouble in paradise. Sarcasm and short, blunt comments fill the conversation. It’s your typical American family for the most part.

One thing these two didn’t expect to be a part of their getaway was the devil himself… stopping by to pay a visit. Three masked “strangers” who want to play a game of hide and seek… and kill are outside. They let their presence be known, and also make it obvious that they could come inside whenever they choose. No phones, no chance for help, just two people relying on one another to make it through the night, while evil stares in from the backyard.

I was a fan of this movie because it didn’t have to go the route of Saw and Hostel, the route that all these torture-porn films seem to go. Instead, this thriller relied completely on silence and visionary directing to make you sit with your fists clenched, wondering what you would do if your own home was invaded.

I’ve heard that this story is loosely based on the Charles Manson murders, where he started a cult, and one of their hobbies was to go on killing sprees simply because they could. You never hear about “Jigsaw” murderers on the loose in real life, but then again you do see something more along the lines of this thriller on the news all the time. There are some sick and twisted individuals out there, and Bryan Bertino (director) did a good job at capturing them in an on screen form.

When you watch this movie, no lights need be on!

Review by Charlie Giltenboth

Grade: C+
Official site: The Strangers

Buy on Amazon: Amazon


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