Movie Reviews 102 – The Strangers (2008)

The StrangersThe plot of this movie came be summarized in one line. Seriously. Three masked individuals terrorize a couple in a home. Not much more than that. Really, I’m not kidding. No reason or motives. No real conclusion of any sort. We don’t know what happens to the perpetrators or even the woman from the couple. The ‘strangers’ come, they terrorize, and then they leave.

Now you probably figured out that there is a complex relationship with respect to the victim couple because screen time has got to be filled with more than just jumps and scares and you’d be right about that. The man has just proposed to the woman that night and she wasn’t quite ready for marriage so she gently declined which prompted  an awkward and mostly silent night between the couple. And the filmmakers milked that one aspect for about twenty minutes. One of the highlights was when the woman ran out of smokes and the man valiantly decides that he will take a drive to get some for her.

If I paint an overly sullen and bland picture it is because it isn’t all that much of an exaggeration.  This movie is all about things that go bump in the night, looking out windows, see the strangers out of windows, and hearing noises. When the strangers do finally actively terrorizing the couple, it is just more of the above. Sure ‘things’ happen, but no real twist or overall change to the situation at hand. At one point a friend of the couple arrives in the middle of the night but you can easily foresee what his fate is based on the events that occurred moments before he arrived. Totally predictable. And then just more of the same.

The tension is there for some scenes but there is nothing even remotely original and after a few good scares I wanted to see something, anything, new. Even Liv Tyler (usually a sure bet in my books) seemed boring.

So, if all you need is jumps and bumps, this is the movie for you. But really, there are so many other movies that have those scares including an actual story to go along with them, so you’re better off with one of those, and you’ve got what, a million to chose from?


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