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GreenCine Movie Talk
Horror
Check out the latest in horror news and discussion, if you dare!
50

The Strangers
Topic by: doozer
Posted: June 1, 2008 - 3:26 AM PDT
Last Reply: June 10, 2008 - 9:45 PM PDT

author topic: The Strangers
doozer
post #1  on June 1, 2008 - 3:26 AM PDT  
I just got home from seeing this movie with a friend and I guess I should post about it because I doubt I'll be sleeping anytime for the next ten years.

A minimalistic response to a minimalistic horror/suspense flick: I liked it a lot.

The movie started off tense and didn't let up for one second. A very small cast with very little character development left me with nothing to focus on other than the tension and harrowing suspense. Psychological horror at its finest.

The Strangers did not waste any time in forcing me to the edge of my seat and keeping me there. I sat through a lot of "I don't know what's going to happen next but I know it's going to freak me the hell out" moments. My friend who accompanied me was practically climbing into my lap for safety not long after he declared that some movie about people in masks would not scare him.

While most movies nowadays use blood and gore to scare moviegoers, The Strangers used audio. The music and noise in this movie are downright unsettling.

Finally, history and horror movies alike give you the hope and instinct that if you can make it to sunrise, you'll be ok. It's been said for centuries that the hours before dawn are the worst because those are the hardest to survive - but if you can surpass them you've made it. Bryan Bertino takes a belief that has been built up over too many years to count and obliterates it in just 90 minutes.

The one gripe I heard from just about everybody in the theater was "why?". You never get more of an explanation other than "why not?". Which, to me, only makes it even more realistic and psychologically disturbing.

I'd suggest seeing this movie during the day if you have few windows in your house but since Bertino already killed that whole sunlight is safe business it really doesn't matter.

I was not disappointed at all, which is rare lately for me and horror movies.

The only downside is, I've spent 35 dollars on movies over the past 3 days.
SonjaBlue
post #2  on June 1, 2008 - 9:46 PM PDT  
doozer wrote:

> ...The only downside is, I've spent 35 dollars on movies over the past 3 days.<

Actually, it's a little worse than that.

Perhaps you could've saved yourself a little cash and signed out this instead.

If films "inspired by true events" are bastardizations of the original event -- an Austrian couple randomly victimized by Czech youths -- then does an American bastardization (2008) of a French/Rumanian bastardization (2006) yield something far worse for the cause of originality?

Now, that is frightening...
doozer
post #3  on June 1, 2008 - 10:08 PM PDT  
> On June 1, 2008 - 9:46 PM PDT SonjaBlue wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> doozer wrote:
>
> > ...The only downside is, I've spent 35 dollars on movies over the past 3 days.<
>
> Actually, it's a little worse than that.
>
> Perhaps you could've saved yourself a little cash and signed out this instead.
>
> If films "inspired by true events" are bastardizations of the original event -- an Austrian couple randomly victimized by Czech youths -- then does an American bastardization (2008) of a French/Rumanian bastardization (2006) yield something far worse for the cause of originality?
>
> Now, that is frightening...

> ---------------------------------

I have already seen Ils, and I also have it in my possession. However; what inspired Ils is not what inspired The Strangers, according to the director. Whether or not he's a liar, the sources didn't say.
SonjaBlue
post #4  on June 2, 2008 - 1:32 AM PDT  
doozer wrote:

> I have already seen Ils, and I also have it in my possession. However; what inspired Ils is not what inspired The Strangers, according to the director. Whether or not he's a liar, the sources didn't say.<

That's an interesting argument from a director whose work has fallen under scrutiny from others who have already made this coincidental(?) comparison.

To be fair, both films are not exactly the same.
"The Strangers" director added masks for the antagonists.

Mr. Robert Matthew Van Winkle added one note to his hit song to differentiate it from Queen & David Bowie's "Under Pressure"...

However, both trailer narratives include the line, "The [brutal] events that took place there are still not entirely known."

Dozer, do you think it is fair for someone to claim plausible deniability in good conscience if he has prior knowledge of a very similar (and in this case, very recent) past production?

If not coincidence, perhaps we could place the blame on the lending of a muse or that many American/English-only-speaking audiences are neither aware nor care about the foreign language predecessor.


[*Sigh*] I should be thankful that Mr. Bertino didn't claim to draw his inspiration from the teenage Vampire Clan. Because I have enough troubles as it is.
doozer
post #5  on June 2, 2008 - 8:44 AM PDT  
Save for the slasher parallel, I found both films to be quite different.

Who's to say he had prior knowledge of a movie that came out maybe less than 2 years prior? Do people think that Mr. Bertino caught a late showing of Ils and ran home to print the screenplay off the internet? After which he xeroxed it at Kinko's and took a bottle of White Out to some parts to make it 'not exactly identical'. He probably assembled studio cast and crew the following day and instantly began working endless nights to to shoot the thing. Of course then there's post production, which often takes longer than shooting the film itself. It had to go through editing and soundtrack editing and development and whatever else they would have done to it in post production to get out out by May o8 hoping that people would be too oblivious to notice "Ils" scratched off of the promotional poster and "The Strangers" written in it's place, not to mention the crude masks drawn onto the characters.

That's pretty farfetched but I guess it *could* be possible.

I also don't think it's fair to imply that people who are unaware of foreign predecessors simply don't care. I wish I could see every movie ever made but I think my landlord wants me to keep paying my rent.

ScottWeinberg
post #6  on June 2, 2008 - 5:40 PM PDT  
So is Them (Ils) a rip-off of Wait Until Dark? Straw Dogs? When a Stranger Calls?

"Home invasion" horror is nothing new. I dug The Strangers well enough, but it's hardly the freshest concept.
SonjaBlue
post #7  on June 2, 2008 - 8:20 PM PDT  
doozer wrote:

> Who's to say he had prior knowledge of a movie that came out maybe less than 2 years prior? Do people think that Mr. Bertino caught a late showing of Ils and ran home to print the screenplay off the internet? After which he xeroxed it at Kinko's and took a bottle of White Out to some parts to make it 'not exactly identical'. He probably assembled studio cast and crew the following day and instantly began working endless nights to to shoot the thing. Of course then there's post production, which often takes longer than shooting the film itself. It had to go through editing and soundtrack editing and development and whatever else they would have done to it in post production to get out out by May o8 hoping that people would be too oblivious to notice "Ils" scratched off of the promotional poster and "The Strangers" written in it's place, not to mention the crude masks drawn onto the characters.<

> That's pretty farfetched but I guess it *could* be possible.<

Sorry for omitting an "o" from your name in my last contribution, doozer. It was unfortunate and unintended.


When there's profit or livelihood involved, it takes far less effort to convince one or the masses.

Perhaps this is more feasible:

A financial opportunist said to a newer director, "Today's your lucky day (meaning: "I've got a cash cow, and since you're wet behind the ears, you'll work cheap. Take this foreign film, redo it in English -- for wide-release, and tweak a few things like locale & bits of dialogue -- so we won't get sued. Ixnay on the costumes and special f/x -- a couple of big names and the premise will be the budget and draw, anyway. We gotta get the jump on this while the iron's hot, so I'll need the rewrite one week from today. Savvy? Whaddaya mean, 'it's not very original?' Well, do you want the job or dontcha? I can find some other newbie...")...!"


> I also don't think it's fair to imply that people who are unaware of foreign predecessors simply don't care. I wish I could see every movie ever made but I think my landlord wants me to keep paying my rent.<

I'm implying nothing. Just allowing Mr. Bertino some latitude.

Perhaps more would care, if they were aware, but unless their fishbowls collide, should it occur to them to transfer schools?



For the record, Mr. Weinberg, I never claimed Ils was synonymous of "Original Concept" to begin with.

That's food for thought -- as we are all left starving in some way.
doozer
post #8  on June 3, 2008 - 5:25 PM PDT  
> On June 2, 2008 - 5:40 PM PDT ScottWeinberg wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> So is Them (Ils) a rip-off of Wait Until Dark? Straw Dogs? When a Stranger Calls?
>
> "Home invasion" horror is nothing new. I dug The Strangers well enough, but it's hardly the freshest concept.
> ---------------------------------


I didn't think it was fresh and exciting, but I did think it was a great rehash of a classic genre.

Again, I dig the pscyh-factor. I like going home being afraid to look out my windows for fear of seeing somebody standing there with a mask on, or somebody banging on my door at 4am asking me if I'm sure someone who doesn't live there isn't home.
EmpressStephanie
post #9  on June 10, 2008 - 9:45 PM PDT  
I was really excited for this one after having seen the trailer, which to me, was the most amazing trailer for a horror movie I have *ever* seen - scared the crap out of me. Can't say the same for the movie. I'll spare you guys my criticisms because it's the same old stuff I usually say when I don't like horror movies. I just have to start excepting that the things I criticize are just innate to the genre.

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