About Features Reviews Community Screenings Videos Studios Home
June 2008

by Michael Fowler


Distributor: Rogue Pictures (Focus Features)
Director: Bryan Bertino
Screenwriter: Bryan Bertino
Cast: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman, Gemma Ward


The Strangers starts off with an eerie introduction stating that in the United States there are 1.4 million violent attacks on homes and that what you are about to see is based on true events setting the stage for what you are about to see. This movie is pretty one dimensional from the start. Once the two main characters James Hoyt (Speedman) and Kristen McKay (Tyler) make it to the childhood home of James, you can already tell something isn’t right. You soon find out that James pops the question to Kristen and she simply answers him with “I’m not ready yet.” James responds to that with a long hug and a giant bucket of ice cream before he decides to leave.

Quickly after that Dollface (Gemma Ward) knocks on the door with haste and keeps asking for someone who is unknown to Kristen. That’s when the other two strangers known as The Man in the Mask(Kip Weeks) and Pin-Up Girl(Laura Margolis) come into the house 1 by 1 hiding their features behind mask appropriate to their names. After a scene with Kristen being watched by the “man in the mask” she eventually meets the rest of them. It was apparent after they had broken into the house the police should have been called instead of James, whom was totally oblivious to the fact that his childhood summer home is not as safe as it was before. After sitting through what seemed to be a deadly version of hide and seek you stumble upon what seems to be part of the opening scene of the movie, the two Mormon boys calling 911.

Overall, I think this movie could’ve been much better. This reminded me a lot of the recent movie “Funny Games” because of the lack of plot, unnecessary amounts of blood, and long scenes of what was supposed to be “suspense”.