Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The Strangers

I don't know how they did it.

They, the powers that be, somehow made a horror movie that was incredibly short and yet incredibly slow at the same time. It literally crawled along the floor and limped up to the oh-so stupid ending. Quite a feat, if you ask me.

I liked the idea behind it. A couple of young lover spending a night in an isolated country home. Masked strangers torment them for unknown reasons. Yeah...that sounds pretty good. Except it wasn't.

It reminded me of two different and much better films. The first, for obvious reasons if you have seen it, is a French film calls Ils (Them, in English). That one was about, you guessed it, a young couple spending a night in an isolated country home who are tormented by mysterious strangers. That one had a decent twist at the end though. This one didn't. It just laid there, floundering instead. The second was John Carpenter's original Assault on Precinct 13. And only because of the unknown surrounding the assailants. To be honest, I haven't seen Assault on Precinct 13 in a long time so I don't remember if Carpenter actually showed why they were attacking the Precinct. I like to remember that there was no reason. It was the unknown that made it powerful.

The unknown in this film was just plain boring.

And the entire film was shot with hand-held cameras. So even calm scenes of the two protagonists sitting at a table are shaky as hell. What the fuck? There is no reason for that.

I will say one thing. Liv Tyler can freakin' scream! I'm not a huge fan of her acting but the woman has some pipes. That doesn't mean you should go out and rent it. No, no, no, no, no.

Rent Empire Records instead. She screams nicely in that one too.


Avitable said...

I liked The Strangers for the first hour. The last half hour got stupid. But the tension in the beginning was very well done.

Slyde said...

ive got to dissagree with you on this one.

i expected to hate this, but i really liked it. it just kinda creeped me out, and it had the balls to not have a happy ending.

i watched it twice...

p.s. and live tyler, who i usually think is a shitty actress, i thought really came off good here.

B.E. Earl said...

Adam - the cat and mouse game went nowhere to me, but I guess that is what the point of the whole thing was. It just didn't do it for me.

Slyde - I saw a lot of potential there, but it just didn't work for me. She is a good screamer, though.

badgerdaddy said...

You seen Funny Games? I got the impression this movie was kind of based on that. The director of Funny Games has made it twice, he remade it recently with Naomi Watts and Tim Roth. I've only seen the German original, but that movie is a real kick in the balls. I'm not sure if it worked... But I can also remember every part of it, so it must have left quite an impression.

And yes, he explains why the precinct is being attacked in AOP13.

B.E. Earl said...

badger - I'm gonna have to watch AoP13 again one of these days. No, I haven't seen either version of Funny Games. The director/writer of this film claims to have come up with this idea based on a series of robberies in his neighborhood when he was a kid. Sure seemed a lot like Ils to me.