The Strangers

Viewed – 23 November 2011  DVD

When I first heard about this home-invasion horror, I immediately thought it might be a remake of French chiller Ils / Them. Telling the tale of a young couple who after attending a party, return to the man’s parent’s secluded house in the woods. All is not well. A proposal has been turned down and suddenly all is not well with the once smitten duo. Then there is a knock at a door. A girl’s voice asks after a friend, who the couple don’t know. What follows is a night of pure terror and torment as the couple try to survive against a trio of homicidal masked nutjobs.

Liv Tyler may not be a-list leading lady material, having made her name in art-house hits such as Stealing Beauty, and then of course her role in Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, but along with her obvious good looks, she makes for a likable, if limited actress. This movie won’t exactly set her career into orbit though, with a script filled with clichés (yes, she falls over and hurts herself when running, groan…) and a fair bit of predictability. Supporting Tyler is a bland Scott Speedman who more often than not leaves his terrified girlfriend alone rather than protect her, and I even began thinking he was to do with the whole home invasion-thing. Now that would have been original. Thankfully director Bryn Bertino shows a degree of skill behind the camera, with some effective jump-scares, atmospheric camera work and bags of tension. Although like Them, this is a movie that answers no questions, where the villains are just that, villains … and even though I get it, I understand what the movie was trying to do … this ultimately left me feeling unsatisfied.

Verdict: 2 /5

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