Saturday, May 31, 2008
Movie Reviews: THE STRANGERS
James and Kristen (Scott Speedman, Liv Tyler) travel out to a house in the middle of nowhere to relax. However, they won't be doing much of that when they are terrorized by a masked gang of psychos who are trying to torture and kill them.
Cast Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman, Gemma Ward, Kip Weeks, Laura Margolis, Glenn Howerton (more)
Director(s) Bryan Bertino
Writer(s) Bryan Bertino
Status In theaters (wide)
Release Date May 30, 2008
Running Time 90 minutes
MPAA Rating R - for violence/terror and language.
The Strangers if effectively atmospheric and tense, well for about the first 2/3rds of the film at least. Its beginning and middle is attractively minimalist and writer director Bryan Bertino goes for the less is more approach to sets and situations. While this does give the film a slightly different feel than most of the current string of torture porn, it maybe off putting to some viewers as it's a slow burn. The atmosphere is one of the positives this film has going for it but it's a terribly flawed movie. Liv Tyler gives what maybe one of the most annoying performances I've seen in a long while. About half way through the film I was really pulling for the killers to finish her off just so we wouldn't be subjected to her character's weeping and general stupidity. Scott Speedman isn't given much to do and his characters IQ is just a tad higher than the Tyler's. The killer ability to appear and disappear just harkened back to classic slasher films like Halloween but also it also gave me flashes Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. Its last act is just a compilation of slasher clichés filled with blood and general acts of stupidity. Near the end of the film one of the killer states, "Next time it'll be easier…" not quite sure if that's a threat or a promise.