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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Strangers

It's been quite a while since I've been excited about a horror film. During a time where it seems like films like Saw and Hostel have oversaturated the genre, I've become a bit jaded. I've always subscribed to the idea that less is more. That you don't need to overload the audience with gore and show every little detail to truly inflict fear.

With that being said, The Strangers was a pleasant surprise. I enjoyed this movie a lot. It supplied enough scares and painted a truly frightening situation on screen. What's more, there was hardly any gore and the movie definitely utilized the Hitchcock style.

While watching the film, I noticed how well the director implemented sound to heighten the film's anxiety and in turn the audience's. The camera work, the sound, the lighting, and the overall sense of anticipation of what's going to happen next is something I yearn to see in horror films. When done well, it's a great ride. It was done well here. I couldn't predict really what was going to happen next and for the most part, this movie strayed from the typical formulaic bullshit you find in the run of the mill slasher horror film.

I'm not sure if I would even classify this movie as horror. It's as much a horror film as was Silence Of The Lambs. There's nothing supernatural about this simple story. It's the way the director brought it all together with the actors. As I said earlier, sound and camera work played a big part in making this movie as scary as it was. The actors too, brought a sense of realism to it where you really felt for them the whole way through.

I loved this movie. It doesn't end in a happy way and I heard a bunch of complaints from people as they were leaving the theater. One person even compared this movie with that crapsaster movie See No Evil. Well...there you have it. The demographic wanted something overloaded with gore and details. Whatever, this is probably the reason why movies like The Strangers are few and far between. It comes down to making money.

That being said, the theater was packed. I think this movie will bode well, for the most part and I would suggest anyone who likes a good scary movie to go check this out. It brought back the classic slasher scares that were experienced in the original Halloween least for me. There's even a scene that seems to be a homage to the closet scene in Halloween.

Good stuff.

If I had stars, I'd give this one 4 1/2 out of 5.

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