Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Movie Review: The Strangers
A young couple (Scott Speedman and Liv Tyler) staying in an isolated vacation home are terrorized by three unknown assailants.
I know that seems like a pretty small plot summary above but it's really about all there is to the movie. It's pretty derivative for sure, but at least it is well done. The tone is one of dread and there are a few shocks and scares throughout, but it felt a bit like to me that it never really took off. It gets to the final confrontation and delivers no real answers, no twist and no real payoff.
It does get under your skin a bit if you put yourself in their situation. I thought the masks and the silent, stealthish behavior of the bad guys made for some creepy moments. I lived in a house alone in the middle of the woods, so maybe I relate better to being freaked out a bit by the setting and the feeling of isolation.
One of things that bothered me about the film is that it never gives any real insight to the killers or their motives. I like those things in my movies. The other thing that bothered me was Liv Tyler's weak, whiney character. I like my horror movie women strong. If you smack one, I don't want them laying there like Nancy Kerrigan crying "whhyyy?", I want them to get up and give the bad guy a knee in his evil jewels. Her character is weak and pathetic and was pretty much crying the entire movie, even before the bad guys arrive. Take a valium and shut up already.
So it's a tense, cruel movie that in the end is really nothing new or innovative, but it is very watchable and with a running time of under 90 minutes, it cruises along and keeps interest by never really letting your heartbeat slow back to normal rate. But if you like a movie with answers or reasons, you'll want to avoid it.
This is one of those movies that had such a great trailer, the movie itself became a letdown perhaps.