ReviewWriter: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang YangWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
One would think that Liv Tyler could never put a foot wrong.
While it's unlikely that "The Strangers" could ever do anything to alienate her from stardom, Hollywood horrors are hardly the sort of thing one would call a step forward. If you'd seen the Aerosmith videos all through to the LOTR trilogy, you'd know that this woman has the sort of natural looks that should be going for Marilyn Monroe-type iconography.
So it came as a shock to me that Liv Tyler's most notable big screen exposure after the LOTR affair was going to be opposite Edward Norton in "The Incredible Hulk". It seems as if she's just fooling around. Now playing opposite Scott Speedman in "The Strangers", my fears are confirmed.
"The Strangers" is an instantly forgettable movie that does nothing for the star value of any of its cast, nor does it elevate the director to any new level of credibility. Without complaining about how over-saturated the slasher genre already is, Bertino's movie goes one step further in disappointing the audience with an unusually attractive trailer - only to unveil a shell of a story for the full product.
O the agony. Remake or not, "Strangers" might as well be one of those Thai horrors we get weekly, if not for the distracting Liv Tyler starring. With a premise so simple (three intruders terrorise a couple), the movie had put itself on for the pressure of delivering something at least that much more original, realistic or refreshing. Bin the thought because there isn't even a new way of killing somebody - it's always same ol' same ol'.
While the Speedman-Tyler chemistry works, the story had somewhere to go for only a while, before it became apparent that Man In The Mask, Pin-Up Girl and Dollface will not contribute as much menace as we thought they would. The fear becomes pointless, although urgent. The audience can't help the victims nor understand the villains. Sometimes, the progress gets so silly that you'd want to help the villains instead of trying to understand the victims!
This could be due to the fact that the film seems to be missing many scenes, as online film communities report that different people from different parts of the world seemed to have watched different cuts of the film. Throw that in with Malaysian scissors and you'll have a jigsaw puzzle at the cinemas alright.
I really liked the selection of songs. I wished "The Strangers" were a better film. Sadly, it's just some short-lived, door-knocking suspense for teenage couples.Cinema Online, 23 September 2008