I'll admit, when commercials promoting The Strangers
began running, I was cautiously optimistic about it being one of the better films of 2008. It had many things going for it which pointed to a great film. The fact it had Liv Tyler as the main actress was, by itself, enough for me to dedicate my time for the viewing. But did all the hype The Strangers
received before its release let me down in the end? Lets find out.
We follow Kristen McKay (Liv Tyler) and boyfriend James Hoyt (Scott Speedman) after James unsuccessfully proposes to Kristin at a friends wedding. Being far from their hometown, they decide to stay at James' fathers old cabin nearby. Around 4 a.m. there is a mysterious knock at the door with a woman asking for someone who does not live there. After informing her she has the wrong house, the strange woman leaves only to return later asking if the same person is home.
Feeling distraught from his failed proposal, James leaves to clear his head and pick up some extra cigarettes. Shortly after leaving he receives a terrifying call from Kristen claiming there are people in masks trying to break in and kill her. James returns to the cabin and the real chaos begins.
If you're looking for a film which packs the scares straight from the beginning, you're not going to be pleased. It took 40 minutes for me to even become slightly interested in what was going on. The way the director cut sections from different areas of the film and jumbled them all together in the first few minutes was not tasteful or compelling, it was just confusing. These jumbled scenes also gave away the damn ending... well almost. It's almost as if Bryan Bertino was trying to capture the choppy, gritty feel of the beginning of Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
but failed to do it correctly.
You can't get much less-creative than the masks on the mysterious killers. There's a man with a burlap sack over his head (see pic
), a woman with a doll face (see pic
) and another woman with a mask which resembles a japanese prostitute known as a "geisha." (see pic
) First of all, Jason Voorhees used a burlap sack for a mask in 1981's Friday the 13th: Part 2
, so anyone who thinks that's an original mask needs to touch up on their horror history. Second, the doll face has been used so many times it's not even remotely scary anymore and a geisha mask is just... well... somewhat lame.
Now that we've covered the masks, who the fuck are these people?!?!?! Are they past residents returning to seek revenge? Are they ghosts who were murdered on Halloween? Of course not! They are just random kids who think it's cool to wear masks and kill people. Why do they need to hide their identity of they are going to murder the only witnesses anyway? Zzzzzz Zzzzzzzzz. Who the fuck knows.
Alright... I've talked alot of shit but there are a couple things I enjoyed.
Liv Tyler is the main reason this film even made it anywhere. Imagine if it was Ms. No-name Big Tits as the main actress. Would anyone care? About the only thing anyone would care about are her tits. They would get an eye-full through the commercial and quickly lose interest. But Liv Tyler has an energy to her which demands your full attention. Her performances are always solid and her choices in projects have been nearly spot on. Well... until this film. Marry me Liv.
I also liked... wait... Liv was the only part I liked. Nevermind.
Look elsewhere for scares my friends. You'll just be disappointed.