The Strangers

Release Date: May 30, 2008
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Movie of the Day for Wednesday, June 27, 2007
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Yes, you'll outrun the thing by crawling.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
20/98 David Mumpower Easily the scariest movie of the year, the true terror here is the randomness of the act.
36/52 Sean Collier Simple, easy horror, big on atmosphere.

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In 1989, Australian director Phillip Noyce created a masterful tale of suspense on the high seas called Dead Calm. The film introduced the world to a pair of virtual unknowns who would later become famous, Billy Zane and Nicole Kidman, as well as an unheralded actor named Sam Neill. The premise was simple. A blissful couple was enjoying a vacation on their boat when they came across a stranger who proved to be a psychotic murderer. Over the course of the story, they were forced to take actions they would have never considered themselves capable of performing prior to being tested by turmoil.

Fast forward to 2008. First time director Bryan Bertino is utilizing a similar premise for the release of The Strangers. Liv Tyler (from the Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as Steve Tyler’s loins) and Scott Speedman (from the Underworld franchise as well as the highly underrated Dark Blue) portray a happy couple enjoying a vacation in an isolated home. Joy turns to chaos when three criminals attempt to take them hostage and force them to perform actions they never would have considered were their lives not endangered.

Rogue Pictures, the specialty film division of Focus Features, has experienced some difficulty in marketing previous thrillers such as the re-make of The Hitcher and Cry Wolf. 2007 saw a success story with Hot Fuzz, but the distributor’s track record is a concern with this genre. If The Strangers is anywhere near as good as Dead Calm, however, we’re there. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Strangers
Main Cast Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman, Gemma Ward
Director Bryan Bertino
Screenwriter Bryan Bertino
Distributor Focus Features
Rating R
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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