Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Strangers...

So I wanted to see something this weekend. My girlfriend, her sister, and I decided that the Strangers looked pretty decent, and so we went. We figured, what the hell, Sex and The City will be busy, so we shouldn't have to worry about the seats. What a miscalculation that was. We ended up getting FRONT ROW, CORNER SEATS. The theatre was packed, even more so than for my screenings of either Iron Man, Speed Racer, OR Indy 4. However, was this movie really worth all of that agony for my poor, poor neck.

The Strangers is a story that is "inspired by true events" (more on that later). It is a tale about a couple James Hoyt and Kristen McKay, who decide, after leaving a wedding reception, to go to a friends cottage for a little alone time. However, things don't go as planned as James proposed to Kristen, and she denied him. As they discuss what the will do next, and akwardly begin to have sex, a knock at the door comes. It's a girl asking if someone is home. The couple says no, and she leaves, but not without freaking the two former love birds out. So they go back to normal talk, and then another knock comes, however, this one is a lot louder. Kristen becomes a little scared, and then all hell breaks loose. The girl and two others adourned with masks, begin to terrorize them, and the couple must survive.

First off, let me get this out of the way. This film was INSPIRED by true events. I'm going by the wikipedia page for the film, but this film is based on an event from the director, Bryan Bertino's childhood. He had an experience with a person who was asking for someone, and he soon later found out that a lot of empty homes had been robbed. So, just to let everyone know. It doesn't effect my thought's on the film, just thought you all would like to hear about that.

Alright, the goods about this movie. The one thing that I will give this film in spades is the directing. Bryan Bertino looks very promising behind the camera. It's his first film, and there's one shot in particular that I thought was really masterful suspense film making, even though it's basic indie horror fair. Also, the cinematography was solid, and the score was fine for a horror film. I really liked the source music they had for the film too. Granted, it kind of got repetative on the squeky record player, but the music was good and it added to the mood. The performances were fine, especially from the boyfriend to Liv Tyler's character, Kristen. Finally, some of the first few scares really worked.

However, after that it's just not that good. This isn't a bad movie by any means. It's just heavy flawed, as are most horror films today. To me, the biggest problem was how unoriginal the movie was, and how repetative the scares were. I've seen this movie before, and it felt like it during the movie. Take Funny Games for example. This film is just Funny Games, but without the message. This film has no point, and watching these people's lives be destroyed really makes for depressing film going. I know that's kind of the point, to get me angry that people would do this, but just put a message behind it, like the aformentioned Funny Games. The lack of message didn't bug me much, it was simply the lack of originality that bothered me. Also, the big thing is that the three killers sneak up on you and watch what you do, however, after the tenth time, I just began to think where they would come from, and make up a funny place they could. This film does keep you into it, just not emotionally, as a good horror film should. The sound design also wasn't great. On a 10 million dollar budget, I do give them some credit, but after that trailer and poster were released, my expectations were not met, and that leads to dissapointment. I say, if you go with a group of friends, you may have a good time, but you're better off saving your money and buying Funny Games in two weeks.

Rating: 6/10

Alright guys, thats it for now. I'm going to get out to the theatres again today, maybe to check out Forgetting Sarah Marshall, or something else like that, so check back later for a review!

Go see something good

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