THE STRANGERS

Random Acts of Violence

Content -3
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: May 30, 2008

Starring: Liv Tyler, Scott Spedman,
Gemma Ward, Kip Weeks, Laura
Margolis, and Glenn Howerton

Genre: Horror

Audience: Older teenagers and adults

Rating: R

Runtime: 90 minutes

Distributor: Rogue
Pictures/Focus/Universal/General
Electric

Director: Bryan Bertino

Executive Producer: Kelli Konop, Joe Drake, Sonny
Mallhi, Trevor Macy, and Marc
D. Evans

Producer: Doug Davison, Roy Lee and
Nathan Kahane

Writer: Bryan Bertion

Address Comments To:

James Schamus, President
Focus Features/Rogue Pictures
A Division of NBC Universal and General Electric
65 Bleecker St., 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 539-4000
Fax: (212) 539-4099
Website: www.focusfeatures.com

Content:

(PaPa, H, B, FR, C, LL, VVV, S, N, A, D, MMM) Strong pagan worldview mixed with humanist outlook with mild moral overtone, plus two young men appear to be Mormon characters who have a tract labeled “Christian Living” and there is brief talk about being a sinner; 15 obscenities and two profanities; very strong violence includes two brutal stabbings, man shot with shotgun, much blood, gore; unmarried couple is about to have sex, but are interrupted; woman appears in underwear but no explicit nudity; drinking of champagne; smoking; and, terrorizing, stalking, stealing, destroying property.

Summary:

THE STRANGERS is the story of a couple who go to a summer house to spend what was supposed to have been a romantic evening, but end up being stalked, terrorized and ultimately stabbed by three crazed, psychopathic killers. As horror movies go, this is well made, but there is continual terror, suspense and excessive gore warranting much discernment.

Review:

THE STRANGERS is the story of Kristen (played by Liv Tyler) and her boyfriend James (played by Scott Speedman), who go to his parent’s summer house in the woods to spend what was supposed to have been a romantic evening. However, three crazy psychopathic killers show up and spend the evening stalking, terrorizing and ultimately stabbing Kristen and James. The masked villains speak nearly nothing. When asked by Kristen, “Why us?” One of the killers replies, “Because you were home.”

As a horror movie intended to scare and terrorize, the movie succeeds. There is much suspense as the couple slowly discovers the killers and a game of ‘cat and mouse’ ensues as they try to flee and then ultimately confront their stalkers. At one point, James’s friend Mike shows up to visit and is brutally, though accidentally, shot by James, thinking Mike is the stalker.

The performances are solid. There isn’t a trace of ‘campiness’ to this horror movie; it takes itself very seriously. The music score is mostly low bass notes intended to increase the creepiness of the story. The plot is effectively directed and edited.

The beginning of the movie quotes violent crime statistics and says that this story is inspired by true events. Random, psychotic inspired violence defines the movie. Its sole purpose is the “entertainment value” of being shocked and scared. The movie is book ended by two tract-carrying teenage boys on bicycles who look very much like Mormon missionaries who discover the carnage that took place at the house the morning after and call 911. The movie flashes back to see the events of the night unfold.

At the end, viewers see the boys discover the house again, but before they do, they meet the trio of psychotic killers driving away. One of the killers asks the boy if she can have a copy of the tract they have, which is labeled “Christian Living.” The boys ask if she is a sinner and the killer responds, “Sometimes.” That represents some type of moral overlay to at least acknowledge that terrorizing and killing people is wrong. However, the boys clearly represent the Mormon, not Christian, faith.

The movie well deserves its R rating with a shotgun shooting, vicious stabbings, and nearly continual suspense and terror throughout the story. There is no nudity, but the couple begins to undress for sexual relations when they are interrupted by the killer banging on the door. This movie is not for teenagers or media-wise adults.

In Brief:

THE STRANGERS is the story of Kristen and her boyfriend James, who go to his parent’s summer house in the woods to spend what was supposed to have been a romantic evening. However, three crazy psychopathic killers show up and spend the evening stalking, terrorizing and ultimately stabbing them. As a horror movie intended to scare and terrorize, the movie succeeds. There is much suspense as the couple slowly discovers the killers. A game of ‘cat and mouse’ ensues as they try to flee and then confront their stalkers. At one point, James’s friend Mike shows up and is brutally, though accidentally, shot by James, thinking Mike is the stalker.

As horror moves go, the production quality is high. However, psychotic-inspired violence defines the movie. The movie is book ended by two tract-carrying teenage Mormon missionaries who discover the carnage that took place at the house the morning after and call 911. Before they do, they encounter the killers who ask for their tract called “Christian Living.” The movie deserves its R rating with a shotgun shooting, vicious stabbings, and nearly continual suspense and terror throughout the story.