The Strangers (2008)
September 30, 2022 11:49 AM - Subscribe

After returning from a wedding reception, a couple (Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman) staying in an isolated vacation house receive a knock on the door in the mid-hours of the night. What ensues is a violent invasion by three strangers, their faces hidden behind masks. The couple find themselves in a violent struggle, in which they go beyond what either of them thought capable in order to survive.

Also starring Gemma Ward, Kip Weeks, Laura Margolis, and Glenn Howerton.

Written and directed by Bryan Bertino.

48% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently available for digital rental in the US on multiple outlets. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Tense, nasty, nihilistic, and creepy. I actually really liked this one. The director's chops show up early when the couple's internal issues are well-dramatized above the level usually seen in slasher backstory.

This is one of the most simple/terrifying exchanges in horror:

"Why are you doing this to us??!??!?"
Dollface [cocking her her to the side quizzically]: "Because you were home."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:51 AM on September 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

It may just be me, but I feel like there's some kind of line to be traced from The Strangers to You're Next to Ready or Not.
posted by bartleby at 2:15 PM on September 30, 2022

I wouldn’t say I enjoyed this but it did what it did quite effectively. There’s one shot in it that made everyone in the cinema loudly gasp.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 7:07 PM on September 30, 2022

I had to stop watching this movie lol. I get very creeped out by faces in the dark (or at a window) and this movie works that ganglion like a speed bag.
posted by fleacircus at 10:07 PM on September 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

How does this stack up against Funny Games?
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:26 PM on September 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

I've tried three times to watch this, and I nope out fairly early on each time. It is, at least as much as I've seen, just too plausible. It's also so well done technically that I'm in from the very start, no questions asked.
posted by cupcakeninja at 4:46 AM on October 1, 2022

How does this stack up against Funny Games?
Funny Games (iirc, it's been a while) was really...wordy? A lot of psycho-social-sexual verbal humiliation torture stuff?
The threat in The Strangers is a lot closer to the wordless mask-and-knife killer of slasher movies.
Except instead of chasing teens around the forest, it's yuppies in a rental house. And instead of supernatural Jason or Michael Myers, with POV narrative shots, it's - "No honey, I have no idea what's happening or why, somebody just rang the doorbell wielding an axe! Close the curtains! Hide!"
Comparing to other home invasion horror, it's Hush - not Straw Dogs.
posted by bartleby at 4:46 PM on October 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

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