Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Strangers

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Strangers - 2 out of 5

This little horror film (very loosely based on real events) about a couple of crazies psychologically (and then physically) torturing a young couple, believe it or not, has some things that are working for it. But sadly, it has even more working against it.

The Good:

This film does a great job using sound and music to build suspense. Also, the fact that it uses only hand held cameras and uses very unique camera angles to give a very voyeuristic feel and, because of this, there are some genuinely creepy scenes going on. However, these two working elements are instantly eradicated when the bad come into play.

The Bad:

There are some really big mysteries going on in the story and some really big plot holes. At the beginning of the film, you'll find yourself questioning outloud some of the moves and the motives behind what the protagonists are doing. Because of this, the beginning of the movie feels forced and completely unnatural. This feeling is reinforced when the story tries too hard to create backstory between the main characters and it becomes even worse when the actors can't pull it off.

Which brings me to my second complaint...the acting is just plain terrible. Scott Speedman is basically furniture as he is kinda just...well, there in every scene. He doesn't deliver much in the terms of his character other than being the spouse of Liv Tyler's character. And then there is Liv Tyler. Tyler is so bad, it is equal to torture. Her performance is so weak, I actually began to wonder if her character was supposed to be mentally retarded because she acts like it throughout the movie. Her character looks mystified at every sound she hears and does, one of the biggest, LAMEST horror film cliches there is: Every time she hears a sound (besides immediately having a caveman look of curiosity on her face) she does the slow walk to the sound. First off, no one does this in real life and it is the most obvious build up to cheap scares that has been grossly overused in the horror film genre.

The Ugly:

The worst thing about this movie (despite a completely lackluster ending and overall boring third act) would be the seemingly super-powered antagonists. Somehow, the strangers that attack the couple can teleport. Yep, that's right, you heard me. They can teleport. There would be a seen where one of the strangers would do something to spook one member of the couple and, when the couple turns around, the stranger is gone. Oh, did I mention that the couple is in a vacation home in the middle of nowhere? In a place that doesn't host a lot of places for the antagonists to hide. Yeah, this weak little inclusion hurt the movie really bad and took all the realism.

Despite having some decent scares in the second act, this movie has a VERY boring build up in the first act and a terrible and pointless third act and these facts make it utterly pointless to watch this movie. The few creepy vibes this movie produces is just not enough to warrant a viewing of this film.

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