Monday, 1 September 2008

The Strangers Review

Any newcomers to this site may not be aware of how big a wimp I am when it comes to horror films. Well, I'm a big one. A yellow stain on the front of my pants, brown stain on the back kinda wimp. My usual escape is the 'its only a movie' defence but when a frightfest comes along INSPIRED BY TRUE EVENTS the Bold 2in1 needs an outing. But I'm also scared of films that are a bit rubbish. This film ticks all boxes.

Beginning with a couple (Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman) having a bit off a fallout over whether or not they should get married (he wants to, she doesn't) the film soon descends into 'nasty people want into the house' action. So we get 10 minutes of Liv walking around the house alone investigating strange noises, then 10 minutes of the bloke telling her nothing is going on, then 10 minutes of stuff going on, then 50 minutes of people with bags on their heads kicking the shit out of both of them.

Now the bags on their heads trick is pretty damn scary, think little boy from The Orphanage or for more mainstream spooks The Scarecrow from Nolans Batman. But when its bookended by natural (meaning stilted) relationship dialogue and fake scares it all gets a little tedious. The first half hangs only on these fake scares, (meaning hand on shoulder/turn round/realise its your friend type) that get pretty fucking boring, pretty fucking quickly. If you take away the moody music and pov camera moves its just Liv walking around a room. Oooo rooms.

The unknown motivation of the strangers themselves would be intriguing if it wasn't for the far superior Funny Games having done the home invasion thing so, so, so much better. While its always unfair to compare one film to the other, I'm an unfair guy. For proof read my next sentence. All the while I was thinking the movie would have been much scarier if Liv had accepted Scotts proposal and we saw her mould into her dad, Steve, over time. Imagine waking up next to that day after day.

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