The Strangers

release year: 2008
genre: suspense/murder
viewing setting: home DVD, 10/31/08

synopsis: A troubled young couple heads to a remote house for the night, but then they get stalked by a group of masked people.

impressions: Let me be clear: I did not like this movie very much. Sure, it was suspenseful, and had some creepy moments, but at its core, the film was little more than a 90-minute study of how to be a victim. The two protagonists did very little that made sense. 1) They found a shotgun and plenty of shells - which gave them a distinct advantage over their stalkers - yet they failed to use their weapon. 2) They came up with a foolproof plan to beat their stalkers, hit one glitch, and GAVE UP on the plan, even though it still would have worked in the long run! 3) They split up, repeatedly, even after knowing that they were outnumbered and outflanked...note to men everywhere, this is NOT how you protect your women. Anyway...because of all this, our two protagonists never really fought back, and so they remained victims, whose ultimate fate was to die horribly.

something this movie has that no other movie has: Two apparently intelligent, willful adults who do so little to survive their ordeal.

acting: Scott Speedman and Liv Tyler are exceptional examples of ready-made victims...the sort of people who continue to ask "why is this happening to me?" rather than ask "what can I do about it?" and then stand up and fight. They wouldn't have lasted five minutes in a Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Hills Have Eyes type situation.

final word: This isn't a horror movie - it's a 90-minute documentary of how two people allowed themselves to be stalked, terrorized, and murdered.

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