Explore your worst worries imaginable with this stunning suspense thriller influenced by disturbing real occasions. After a 4 a.m. knock at the door and a haunting voice, Kristen McKay (Liv Tyler) and James Hoyt's (Scott Speedman) remote vacation becomes a mental night of fear as 3 masked strangers invade. Now they should go far beyond exactly what they believed themselves capable of if they wish to endure.
< br/ > A lean, quickly paced and exceptionally scary thriller, The Strangers earns its terrifies the old-fashioned way: through atmosphere, sound style, and a basic yet undoubtedly upsetting main facility that allows for optimum tension throughout its running time. Appealing young lovers Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman are already having a bad day-- she's refused his marriage proposal-- before a knock on the door in the middle of the night announces a full-fledged siege on their remote vacation home by a trio of masked aggressors. The movie's very first 3rd delivers the most constant shivers as the visitors make their presence and intents known to Tyler; the 2nd half grows more frantic and bloody before a gruesome finale that may leave viewers either rattled to their core or bothered by its empty nihilism. Speedman is great as the downtrodden male lead (who's seen tucking into a carton of ice cream after being declined), however it's Tyler who impresses the most by s! houldering the lion's share of the fear. Newbie writer/director Bryan Bertino impresses by abandoning the current enthusiasm for excessive violence (conserve for the finale) in favor of more conventional ways of creating fear, and if his project obtains greatly from other films, most especially the French chiller Them (which shares its "influenced by a true story" origin) and Michael Haneke's Funny Games, at least he's drawing from the very best. The sound style is amongst the many technical standouts, and the disturbing score by tomandandy (The Hills Have Eyes) pleasantly evokes Ennio Morricone's fuzztone-heavy work for Dario Argento in the early '70s. On a totally unassociated note, LP fanatics should appreciate how both the movie's heroes and villains share an affinity for folk and country music on vinyl.--Paul Gaita
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