A young couple at a remote house get some late night visitors in debuting writer/director Byran Bertino’s effectively stripped “The Strangers". Providing home invasion antics on a less intellectual level than “Funny Games” strangers should generate some energy with mainstream fright fans. Even if this excersise does leave some viewers wondering what was the point to this punishing journey for this family.
In grind house mock horror style from the 70’s genre (we all know the film) Texas in the title, A voice grimmly reads informing us that events were about to see actually took place. It’s a ruse don’t believe the hype as Bertino has explained.
A couple gets back from a wedding reception Kristen (Liv Tyler) is in tears as they drive back in silence. The husband James (Scott Speedman) has foolishly did something wrong. Reaching the vacation home lighted with candles & rose petals an unlikely romantic end to the evening maybe the husband isn’t so stupid.
They embark on make up sex when there is an unexpected knock at the door. They peer out & it’s a little blond girl oustide asking for her friend. James assures her she has the wrong house. In the classic horror sense James does the obvious unthinkable he leaves Kirsten in the house alone in the woods to pick up cigarettes for her. Here is where the fun starts. She is not alone for very long & comes upon three visitors bearing pretty freaky & scary hood like masks.
You guessed it, all hell breaks loose they trap the married couple in the house & torment them to no end. Liv Tyler & Speedman’s acting is excellent the script lacks originality but it is a throwback fright style suspense film reminscent of the 70’s & early 80’s grindhouse slasher films. It is one of those anticipated building up to the climax type of films. You don’t see the hooded terrorizers till late in the movie. Overall it is a nerve jangling & frightful picture.