Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Strangers Review

The Strangers, starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, tells the tale of a young couple terrorized by the strangers outside their house

- The acting from both Tyler and Speedman is really quite remarkable. Speedman's difficulty in emotionally deal with Tyler's rejection of his marriage proposal is very believable. Tyler is believably terrified throughout, but she doesn't have as much emotional material to work with.
- Director Bryan Bertino masterfully frames his shots throughout. Bertino also does a tremendous job of ratcheting up the tension to an almost unbearable level by the end of the film. Bertino also wrote the film and his screenplay is not half bad.
- Assuming it is the film's goal, The Strangers did a remarkable job of making me feel uneasy.

- The biggest problem with the film is that it didn't feel scary at all, just mortifying. In the torture porn movies (Saw, Hostel, etc) there is a moment of queasiness just before each disgusting thing happens, The Strangers is like having that feeling stretched out for 90 straight minutes.
- The ending is a letdown.

- The Strangers is surprisingly well made and incredibly tense, but it all just amounts to an exercise in sadism.

Overall Score: 6/10

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