The Strangers

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by Brandee Lay

DVD Review: “The Strangers” (2008)
“Lock the door, pretend you’re safe…” …from a bad movie.

The extent of 90 minutes worth of the 2008 horror movie “The Strangers” could make a person go mad. The movie stars Scott Speedman as James Hoyt and Liv Tyler as Kristen McKay – a couple who stays a weekend in the Hoyt family’s summer home. This flick has virtually no plot.

According to Wikipedia, despite the hype and rumors of it being a true story, “…the film was inspired by an event from director Bryan Bertino’s childhood: a stranger came to his home asking for someone who was not there, and Bertino later found out that empty homes in the neighborhood had been broken into that night … [Bertino] said his main inspiration was “Helter Skelter,” a true crime book about the 1969 Manson family murders.”

It was nominated for three Teen Choice Awards, two Golden Trailer Awards and has an anticipated sequel, “The Strangers 2” (2010). Produced on a $9 million budget, it was ranked No. 3 in its box office release weekend (May 30 through June 1) with a U.S. gross of over $52.5 million and a worldwide gross of just less than $73 million. DVD sales for this movie are just over $16.5 million.

Newcomer writer/director Bryan Bertino (acted in “Waiting for Trains” (2002) and “Xtracurricular” (2003)) captured the fundamental nature of a gruesome home-invasion and the unnecessary bludgeoning of innocent people, yet it has all the overplayed essences of a classic thriller movie. It has its eerie moments, where one would think, “Where the heck did these people come from?” and, “How is it that they just can’t escape?” Though, in order to give this film any length whatsoever, the “nonexistent plot” must drag on, the stars must be blatantly oblivious and all escape routes must come up faulty. I give it a four out of ten rating.

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