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The Strangers [Blu-ray] [2008] [US Import]

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Product details

  • Actors: Scott Speedman, Liv Tyler, Gemma Ward, Alex Fisher, Peter Clayton-Luce
  • Directors: Bryan Bertino
  • Writers: Bryan Bertino
  • Producers: Doug Davison, Joseph Drake, Kelli Konop, Marc D. Evans, Nathan Kahane
  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Oct 2008
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001D2WU8O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 255,440 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

2.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
It got to the point where the character's behaviour was so unbelievable, it ruined the suspense. There was no way a boyfriend would act the way he did in this film given the circumstances. If you want to watch this, try to do it when it is free.
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Format: DVD
I had high expectations for this film. The trailer looked very intense. However, it was utterly disappointing. It was so drab all the way through. Didn't enjoy it at all.
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By jjb007 on 27 July 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It is very hard to find good horror these days that genuinely scare you, but this is one. It is not blood thirsty, it does not need to be it makes you jump and your palms sweat as the camera pans around the room and you see someone standing un-noticed in the background or then there's a knock at the door but know one is there! Fully recommend.
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The acting was so unbelievable and the horror parts were so lame that I was begging for the main characters to hurry up and die so the film would finally end!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 497 reviews
75 of 88 people found the following review helpful
Easily the scariest movie I have ever seen..... 27 Oct 2008
By C. Thomas - Published on
Format: DVD
I recently had watched this movie, and I must say that without question this movie is the scariest, and creepiest movie I have ever seen. In fact it was so scarry that I slept all the lights on the last two nights, and I keep a baseball bat by my night stand.

I am not going to recap the movie ad nauseum the way some of the other reviews here have already done, however I will give a high level perspective of why this movie is so good at being scarry.

1. There are no ghouls, ghosts, vampires, and demons. The premise of this movie is litteraly one group of people taking advantage of other people.

2. The costumes used by the strangers were simple, and eloquent. Exactly the kind of stuff one could pick up at any party store or costume shop. I feel as though this added a whole other level of realism to the movie.

3. Overall creepiness of the type of harrasment the strangers inflicted on the kristen, and james.

Some negatives that I observed about the movie:

1. James and Kristen making some stupid decisions, that would have any person with a brain scratching their up when you have these psychopaths coming at you from all directions.

2. The strangers violating the laws of physics by being able to subtly and quickly sneak into a space and scrawl messages across the walls, windows of a room to further torment our protaganists, and never ever be seen or heard by James and Kristen. This just doesnt seem plausible to me.

3. The ending didnt really give me closure.

With all that, the movie was highly effective at serving its purpose which was to freak me out, and entertain me, which it did for it's entire 80 minute running time.

I highly recommend this movie, and am only giving this movie 4 stars instead of 5 for the reasons I state above.
40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Do NOT watch alone... 8 Nov 2008
By Steven Adam Renkovish - Published on
Format: DVD
This atmospheric - and undeniably horrifying - directorial debut from Bryan Bertino gave me the chills unlike any other film that I have seen in a long while.

I won't go into the story, because most of you already know it, but I will tell you this: if you are as jumpy and as easily frightened as I am, do NOT watch this one alone. I made the mistake of doing that the first time, and I couldn't finish it. I had to rent it later on, and watch it with a room full of people in order to see the entire film. The thing that makes the film so effective is simply this: this could happen to anybody. Anybody could break into your home and terrorize you for no reason.

The direction is strong, and Liv Tyler does an excellent job. You can tell that it was definitely inspired by Haneke's FUNNY GAMES, but it's not a rip-off by any means. Bryan Bertino has done an excellent job with his first film, and I look forward to his next film.
67 of 86 people found the following review helpful
A movie about who can be the dumbest. 1 Jun 2009
By Grey - Published on
Format: DVD
Not a terrible setup. Masked psychos terrorize a couple late one night in a large house nestled in the corner of a small, rich suburb. A bit slow to start and the characters aren't anything close to interesting, but the setup is decent and the atmosphere is good.

Problem? Everyone's a moron.

If you're a home intruder and the people at home have a gun, you're not going to keep attacking. No you're going to run the **** away and go to some other house some other night. If you're the guy being intruded upon and are sitting in the corner one night with a gun you're not going to go outside and play Elmer Fudd. No, you're going to sit in that corner and stay awake until morning when the suburb will be active. If you're the intruder watching the guy play Elmer Fudd with a shotgun you're not going to bull-rush him and succeed. No, you're going to be blown the **** away. And if you're some guy who just had his windshield smashed before your eyes and sees signs of an obvious break-in you're not going to quietly sneak inside to investigate. No, you're going to drive away and call the cops.

The suspension of disbelief is just too much in this film. It's a battle of who wants to be killed more and who's more inept at taking an advantage. And when a victor emerges it's hard to care, not only because all the characters are boring as cardboard, but because they just succeeded winning the Darwin Award of the night in a rather fierce competition.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
spoilers for a plot-less movie & thoughts for a flick without any 18 Jan 2014
By GratedTopping - Published on
Format: DVD
In this flick, its bare-plot just dealt with a couple at an isolated place being annoyed by three strangers who had an intent to kill (but wanted to scare them more first). This had no point, was entirely uninteresting, offers nothing new compared to other horror movies, contained no character development, and I didn't even see the hardly-terrorized couple as 'real people'. The situation had so many ridiculous moments that it was embarassingly funny and became one of the dullest movies of any genre.

It tried to tell us at the start about how it was based on true events. Now, whenever you read anything like that, the most miniscule amount of a real event could be used in the flick and all the rest can be fake. If a person took a dump in the movie and that is something that took place in the real history, then it can be 'based on a true story' and they aren't fully lying. I think most people believe the majority of everything is based on actual events in such tales, when the opposite is most likely because it is a movie script with an author.

Here we go! I've written the above information before looking around and, lo and behold, I read details stating that this was based on a memory of the writer/director Brian Bertino. As a boy, he recalled a stranger came to the door asking for someone. Later, there were a lot of burglaries in the area. That's it! From such an incredibly miniscule 'story', it was stretched into the 'plot' of this movie. For all we know, that stranger could have been trying to find someone he hadn't seen in a long time and surprise. He didn't scare the writer/director and most-likely had nothing to do with the burglaries (which didn't even involve murders).

We read at the end of the film that "The brutal events that took place there are still not entirely known." Really? Since the movie ends with the woman suddenly coming-to in fear after someone who found her touches her, are we to think that that she survived long enough to tell SOME of the tale? For there to be a movie, events had to come from her or the person who found her. If it was from that person, then the only true part of the flick would have been that at some time in history, a person came upon people who'd been attacked. Without knowing what part of the movie is based on actual events, people tend to think the majority really took place. The only true thing for this movie: it's fully fiction except that the writer encountered a stranger in his life.

There is so little substance to this movie that writing more is a waste, but here I go with some various thoughts anyway.

- The writer spoke of wanting to strip away many of the horror cliches so it doesn't get repetetive . . . but the movie's just filled with them.

* couple is in the middle of nowhere and cell phones are not working; jump-scares; first, the bad-person is there then he's not (oooh ... where did he go?); a baddie is right behind you but nobody bothers to look even though he was just previously seen in that direction; someone stands in the distance just staring (shades of HALLOWEEN'S Michael Myers); woman decides to make a run for it and trips (nobody's ever tried THAT before)...starts of the baddies appears behind her and she doesn't know it or behave in a manner that she expects it to happen (but it's okay because the stalker will just disappear for no reason except to make the movie longer and add fake tension); and at the end, we have some kids come upon the house and find the starts to reach out for the woman, who suddenly perks up and screams while the movie ends (is she alive or not?); etc. *

- The unrated version has approx. 2 minutes of added length, which consists of just one extra scene near the end that made no difference. In it, we see that the woman was also not fully expired...she hears the cellphone of the guy who was accidentally shot...she crawls to it....the masked-man returns, takes the phone and chooses to leave her still alive a bit. That's all.

- The almost-husband is a moron. The woman told him that one of the strangers came into the place. He says that nobody came in. How could he be so certain and why in the world does he doubt her immediately for no reason? The woman's terrified and the man decides to leave her with the baddies (which he doesn't even think exist). The act of him leaving the house was to get them separated so the audience would have another location/setting to look at.

- The baddies take time to make spooky noises, play records of dull music, and write words repeatedly on windows without being noticed. Maybe they were having flashbacks of being bad in school where they had to write the same word over and over.

- In the extra-feature on the DVD, someone's talking about how he agrees with what he heard from others: that it's not a horror movie but a terror movie. I disagree with that. This is not horror and there was nothing terrifying here either.

- This is a perfect example of a movie where sounds ruin the atmosphere. A spooky masked person appears out of the shadows and you're presented with a quick bunch of notes/lil' bit of music indicating something happened that you should be scared of. Just like canned laughter in a sitcom, which assumes that the audience doesn't know when to laugh, a similar method is used here and it fails. It needed to be quieter in order to gain some sense of terror. The movies "High Tension" and "Funny Games" got that part right.

- Perhaps the worst scene is when the dude's in the car and bending down to get something. Oooh....a human hand appears and a finger touches him on the neck. He quickly freaks and turns around to see that there's isn't anybody. Quickly getting out of the vehicle, he encounters nobody. So in a split-second, the actual person ran away and hid? Or is this to represent how fear caused him to imagine something that didn't really happen? Regardless, it's another
cliche and unoriginal.

Another scene equally annoying: the couple is in the car after they managed to grow brains and decided late-in-the-game that it just might be a good idea to leave. A truck pulls up behind them -- but not too close. The almost-husband driver sees a masked woman -- who was originally ON the property -- is in the vehicle (I guess she ran off to get it so they could use it to smash the other car). Looking ahead, the couple see the masked man in front of the car. Rather than try and run him over or merely drive away, genius-man brilliantly suggests to the wife that they "Get out of the car." I changed my mind: that is definitely the worst scene and one that should make everyone say "What in the world are you doing??".

That truck, by the way, is apparently the same one that we see the three baddies in at the end of the flick. At that time, we see that it miraculously wasn't damaged at all even though they rammed the couple's car with it earlier. "It will be easier next time," are the final words of one of the women baddies as papa (?) drives away. Seriously, there
was nothing hard for any of them. They were spending time making records play, writing messages, sneaking up with an axe and stopping and disappearing for no reason, banging on doors and making other noises,
etc. A lot of what was done was just to get the audience to think "Uhoh...this is it!" and then it was over. None of the strangers got hurt and they made it hard for themselves by taking a long time to do their terrible deeds. I can picture one of the baddies thinkin' "Sure, I could hurt them now, but first I need to change the record." There was nothing of resistance they encountered and the couple could have just been offed right at the start. Maybe it wasn't easy in their minds because they were mechanics (or "MacGyver" wannabes) and it took time to fix the banged-up truck and make it all pretty before they left?

- The only potentially-good idea the couple had was when they were in the closet and decided to just shoot whoever came in. Yet after they accidentally kill a friend that showed up, stupidity returns and
they decide it's best to leave the closet. I think they could have still remained and made sure that it was a masked person first before shooting. Then again, maybe the strangers would have also grown a brain by then and realized that the targets have a weapon and not gone in.

- So, at one point, something was blocking the smoke from getting out of a fireplace's chimney. In time, the house should have filled with smoke. I guess the blockage eventually fixed itself. Maybe what happened was one of the strangers climbed up to the roof, blocked the chimney so that an alarm would go off and spook the woman, removed the blockage, climbed down from the roof, and eventually snuck into the house and turned over the detector to scare her even more. What amazing planning! The strangers
must also be psychics to know that the woman was going to drop the smoke detector.

- This was compared to "Funny Games", which also had no real plot and only dealt with a dangerous pair of 20-somethings who had nothing better to do than travel around playing mind-games with unsuspecting people and killing them in the end. It was a much more interesting movie with some 'terror' moments and wasn't filled with continual stupidity like this one.

- "Why are you doing this?" the woman/almost-wife asked. "Because you were home," one of the masked women-strangers says. In a non-brilliant move, the trailer for the movie ends with this which ruins the 'twist'.

- The strangers' time writing on windows and just appearing and disappearing over and over made me think that they weren't human or this was some person's traumatic memories/creation. The movie seemed to want the audience to think that something supernatural was going on when there really wasn't. It felt like it couldn't make up its mind and, in the end, they were just basic serial killers.

In conclusion, this was totally forgettable and I slept very well that night. It's a bad movie where the barely-terrorized couple had a shotgun with a lot of shells and a working car that none of the three strangers had enough sense to damage so the couple could easily escape. The movie was filled with stupid cliches and dumb actions or inaction.

It's a bit sad when I watched an old review on YouTube which had a guy talking about how fantastic the flick is and that he was going to pay to see it again and get the DVD. Of course he can have his
opinion, but I was thinking "Dude, don't pay any movie theatre their exorbitant price twice! Just wait a few months for the DVD."

Out of all of my reviews, this is the first movie one that I given one star to. According to the rating system here at Amazon, one star means 'I hate it'. Even with other movies I disliked, I was always able to find something semi-worthwhile and gave two stars ('I don't like it')...but I couldn't seem to do that with this one which had nothing I even semi-liked.

Dear reader, it's okay to go ahead and be a stranger to this movie. It's not worth any visitors and I'm glad I wasted no money on it since I borrowed it from the library.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Harrowing and brutal!! 30 Oct 2008
By wolfgang731 - Published on
Format: DVD
Alright, alright, so it isn't groundbreaking or revolutionary. Who really cares and why is this a bone of contention for so many? Most, if not all, of the stuff Hollywood churns out on a weekly basis is hardly fresh, yet it doesn't keep hordes of people from fawning over them like they were the second coming. Was "Dark Knight" (which I loved) new and novel? I don't think so. How about "Incredible Hulk or any other sequel, remake or movie born from any other source material, such as videogames or musicals? The over-hyped "No Country For Old Men" treads down one of the most worn out paths in all of film, yet it won an Oscar for best picture. The list is endless, so please let's put that argument of originality to rest already. If someone manages to create a wholly new cinematic experience, then I say bravo and I'll be anxious as all hell to see it, but let's face it, at this stage of the game, I'm not holding my breath like I used to. Let's face it, people, this is 2008 and there's nothing new under the sun, anymore. Either you borrow from existing sources or fuse as many disparate ideas as possible with the hopes of achieving something radical and invigorating. More often than not you end up with a dud. A perfect example, MNS too-dreadful-for-words,, "The Happening." Avenging trees and horror do not mix. Onto "The Strangers,." which I loved. I thought it was concise, brutal, harrowing and taut and it was all pulled off expertly by those involved. The camerawork was fantastic and the way the interiors were filmed, with deep pockets of shadows everywhere, turned an otherwise nice country house into an ominous and terrifying trap. The exterior shots, though ample, gave the feeling of crushing claustrophobia, the overwhelming feeling of being trapped even where you are outside and free to move. Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman were great, their terror and anxiety both palpable and believable. The nihilistic ending didn't put me off, because that's life, sometimes. Nice resolutions aren't always part of the deal. For me, ultimately, it's how well the material is handled that really determines the quality of the film. If you have good craftsmen at work, who really care about what they're doing, you'll end up with a more than decent flick, more often than not. Here we have a very good example. If you are expecting some kind of epiphany, you'll be disappointed; however, if you want a well-made, grab you by the throat kind of cinematic experience, then I suggest you check out "The Strangers." I love good horror and this is a perfect example of it.
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