Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Strangers Review



Overall Grade: C-
While the trailer for The Strangers gives you the tag "Inspired by true events", the movie itself is so far rooted in Hollywood convention that the true events had to be inspired by some Hollywood movie. While I really wanted to like this film (as I desire to enjoy at least one horror film a year), after about twenty minutes into this 80 minute film, I was checking my watch (or should I cell phone seeing as how I don't own a watch).

The film itself starts out fairly conventionally, with a couple in a home near the woods being terrorizd by crazed killers. What the film fails to do, is to root this story in anything true and believable. If I am to be scared because this story is true, then why include the movie killer convention that they are seen one second and the very next they have vanished from clear sight, even when there is nothing at all for them to hide behind. I kept thinking that if this were true, and in any ways indicative of how the killings happened then the killers must have gone to the same vanishing training academy that Batman went to in Batman Begins.

The film fails in another important horror film convention, the fact that the victims must actually stand a chance. The movie goes to such far lengths to show how these strangers can be anywhere and everywhere, that I rarely ever felt like the main characters stood a shot. Neither were our main characters given any sort of intelligent response to them, they kinda just scream from room to room until the strangers decide they have had enough. Without he actual suspense of an even fight, the movie just becomes a hunt after weak animals. Hunting can be suspenseful, but not if the deer lets you walk right up to him and stab him, then its just brutalness.

In the end, the film is well-crafted (even though I felt the scares relied a little too much on the film score), though totally vapid. I can't give it a reccomend. If the film premise looked intruiging to you or the film trailer gets you interested than I suggest the far superior (but not a great horror film) Vacancy which deals with much of the same themes. Included for your pleasure are the trailers for both below.
The Strangers

See Thats a great trailer right? Too bad its better than the Film



Vacancy

2 comments:

Julie said...

do you realize that only 1/3 of the movies you have seen this year are "B-" or higher for you, none of which are "A"s. I'm sure you know but I just noticed.
Anyway, I think I can honestly say I enjoyed Vacancy more than The Strangers, although I feel prouder of myself for seeing The Strangers since the trailer was so much scarier. I still wish they had done more with the "because you were home" line. Well, I'm sorry it was such a let down for you but there's always plenty of horror films. The Happening is coming soon and that looks somewhat scary, it is Shyamalan after all.

Kyle Leaman said...

The year has started out really well, with Spiderwick, Jumper, and Counterfeiters getting good grades, but most of what I have watched lately has been disappointing. I hope that things get better this summer.