i really like liv tyler. i'm not sure i think she's an actress, but she's cute in that lil' lost puppy way and i'm guessin' that she brings out the maternal in me. anyway, i was really hoping to like her newest flick, the strangers, but i will admit with a heavy sigh that while it wasn't great, it is dvd-worthy.
first the good news. i would like to give big kudos to the writer/director, bryan bertino, for giving us one very intense thrill ride using -- hey, here's a novelty -- good old fashioned scare tactics with very little gratuitous sex and only moderate gore. i think the reason the film works to the degree that it does is because the setting is truly creepy for any audience. this couple is terrorized by three manson-family wannabees who have chosen their innocent victims completely at random. the reason for their punishment? "because you were home." to be tortured in your parent’s summer home, a place typically filled with carefree childhood memories? this makes for a downright terrifying experience.
...but only for so long. this movie unravels for two reasons. first of all, the director thinks his audience is stupid. rule number one of any situation involving masked terrorists: don't go out on your own. stick together no matter what. i think this is a natural instinct, undeniable on any rational human being's gut level. don't ignore it. ever. even if you're trying to make a scary movie, you simply must give your audience more credit or they, like the smock, will rebel. secondly, the suspense, which is the movie’s strongest feature, unfortunately gets overused. there comes a time in even the most delightfully thrilling movies that the viewer says, “okay, guys, enough already. pee or get off the pot.”
the bottom line:
smockdaddy says, "hey, it's a B-movie starring liv tyler."
smockmomma says, "as with any 'based on actual events' flick, wait for the dvd."