Friday, February 6, 2009

The Strangers (2008)

Reviewed by Jeremy Melton

Like an infant taking its first steps as he learns to walk, this movie just keeps falling on its ass.

Obviously, we a Tower Farm have a certain affinity for movies with bruised tailbones. However, this title is too boring and too frustrating to really be a Tower Farm classic. It is, at best, a good rent. Or, at least, one to rent when you have seen every other horror movie being offered at Blockbuster.

Okay, let me ask you this. Pretend that you are at a cabin in the middle of nowhere with a loved one. Imagine that you get a knock at the door. On the other side of the door is a creepy girl asking for someone named “Tamara”. When you tell her she has the wrong house, she says that she’ll “…SEE YOU LATER” and leaves, on foot, toward the woods. What do you do?

I’ll tell you what I would do, I would grab my partner by the hand and say, “We are getting the hell out of here” and drive to a hotel.

The characters in this movie, though, make the strange decision to split up as one drives off (for about a half hour) to get cigarettes for the other since she is almost out of them.

How is being almost out of cigarettes at 4am a problem??? Go to bed and go together the next morning to get some. If you are stupid enough to have not already left the house after that girl came and creeped everyone out.

This is what makes this movie so problematic. No one at any point makes a decision that makes any sense to me. Obviously, I have never been in this type of situation, but I feel secure in saying that my instincts would have me reacting in the exact opposite way of these two dolts. In every single instance. Maybe that is why this movie is called The Strangers… because every decision these two make is stranger than the last.

So, what we have is a movie that begins with a pretentious, and I hoping intentional, narration by someone who sounds suspiciously like John Larroquette telling us the story is... "inspired by true events". Then, we get Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman (I don’t remember the characters names and don’t care to look them up) acting like kids in a theater class being told to create a scene in which a couple is breaking up. Soon after, the movie actually starts, as the two characters find themselves trapped inside a farmhouse/cabin while being terrorized by three kids.

The killers, though, through the majority of the movie are really nothing more than practical jokers. They don’t kill anyone until, like, the last ten minutes. Oh, and the victims have a gun. The killers don’t.

I just don’t understand how these two morons ever felt they were trapped. Grab the gun and march!

The Strangers rolls out every cliché throughout its 90 minutes (Jesus… IMDB lists this thing at 85 minutes. I honestly thought it was at least two and a half hours). But nothing is effective or eerie. We get the masked man lurking in the background while the girl distractedly talks on a phone. We get personal items rearranged in the house. We even get a friend who shows up for no reason whatever (want to guess what happens to him?). My favorite one is the use of creepy sounding scratchy old records. That is just lame.

One and a half very generous fingers.


1 comment:

  1. I'm with you every step of the way on this one. What a frustrating film!