I was hoping this would fill a void for me personally in the horror genre being that when the trailers came out for this, it looked like a throwback style of horror. Real horror. Unfortunately, this accomplished no such thing.
To be very direct, The Strangers was not a good movie. The film had very little conflict, no real climax or resolution. My conclusion of the storyline is that scary people terrorize random people for no reason; not for money, not for possessions, not for revenge but for absolutely no cause. I suppose that is what the director was going for, the fear that something bad can happen to you for no reason. However, from a film perspective it just seemed kind of lazy and boring, even though it could be true in real life.
Don’t get me wrong, there was some suspense in the movie, it had me on the edge of my seat towards the beginning. I did appreciate the old horror film style elements very much. This was not a jump-out-at-you scary movie which most modern day scary movies are. Which is probably why I avoided modern horror, to me those are cheap scares. Anyone can make a movie is completely silent then out of no where something crazy and loud pops on the screen. The Strangers included good use of old scratchy and eerie music, it set the mood very well. And who could forget the whole, I see the bad guy now, pan around and then they disappear. Again, that’s from the old roots of horror although they could have used that a little less, after the third time it got repetitive.
One thing they used in this film, which they should not have borrowed from the traditional style of horror is the “Hey, lets split up” routine. I don’t understand how this ever makes sense, come on everyone knows that’s a classic mistake. The acting wasn’t bad and the shaky camera was tolerable.