the strangers

So after I found out that the local theater has $4 matinees (if you live in Rancho Cucamonga, go to the Terra Vista 6. It’s there you’ll find cheap-ass tickets that haven’t gone up in price for five years) and I figured I’d go see the one movie that looked appealing.

It was the Strangers which looked creepy enough. I have yet to see Haneke’s Funny Games (either version)–it’s in the queue on Nutflix but I haven’t gotten it yet–and apparently this movie is similar to it sans the lesson-teaching by the antagonists.

So basically the movie is about a couple who returns to a vacation home in some sparsely populated area after going to a party where the woman (Liv Tyler as Kristen McKay) was proposed to by the guy (Scott Speedman as James Hoyt)… And said no.

So they’re already mad at each other. And Kristen’s out of smokes so her madness will probably be fueled by nicotine withdrawals.

The madness begins when, at 4:05am, a girl bangs on the door frantically if Tamara is home. Tamara doesn’t even live there. And then the fun begins. James goes out to get Kristen more smokes and Kristen is immediately getting scared by the faces in the window and the banging and all this creepy shit outside.

But I really don’t think that any sort of description of this film will do it justice. My words aren’t filled with tension and fear. Swear to god, this movie was one of the scariest films I’ve seen in awhile because it’s so psychological. The cinematography is done with a lot of hand held shots from voyeuristic angles that make you wonder if it’s simply the camera or one the three antagonists.

Through the movies runtime, it doesn’t let up. Even when the sun comes up near the end, you aren’t allowed to sit it out. You’re caught up in this game where you wonder if they actually want to hurt the people or just play a prank on them.

Spoilers below.

They want to hurt them. And that, I think, was the boldest part of the film–the ending doesn’t show the escape we want to see. Instead, it shows Kristen and James tied up and stabbed to almost death and death. Yea, Liv Tyler doesn’t die for, probably, the sake of a sequel that won’t be as fun because they’ll have that whole stereotypical angle of the crazy person who’s been through it before and is calling for more action from the police and all that shit. I can just see it now… Especially since the terrorizers, who were basically sociopathic high school sophomores, say “It’ll be easier next time” as they drive away.

So it’s definitely interesting and it’s definitely scary–those are the two things that you look for in a horror film. And I’m glad it’s not one of those post-RingGrudge supernatural Japanese adaptations because I never really liked those. I liked this, though.

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