31 Days Of Hallowe'en: The Strangers (2008)
Welcome to JOE's 31 Days Of Hallowe'en. For each and every day of October, we'll be bringing you a horror movie to tuck into for the lead up to the big night. It could be new, old, an undiscovered gem, or a classic you'll have seen a thousand times. No matter what it is, we guarantee you that it is brilliant, and it is SCARY.
For Day 12, we'll be looking back over 2008's freaky home invasion, The Strangers.
Two couple, in the middle of an argument, arrive in their holiday home in the middle of nowhere. He has proposed to her, she said no, and now things are ... uncomfortable. In the middle of the night, a young girl knocks on their door, asking for Tamara. They tell her she has the wrong address, but she replies that she'll "see them later".
That is how things kick off with The Strangers, and it isn't long before this not-so-happy couple find themselves terrorised in sadistic ways that are never explained. What is physical torture for the victims on screen turns into a psychological torture for us watching it, because this movie isn't afraid to test your endurance and make you feel like hammered shit by the time the end credits roll.
Clip via BlackTree TV
It has taken a while for audiences (and the rest of the horror genre in general) to catch up to the message that The Strangers was telling. Back in the 80's, the victims in slasher films were naughty teenagers engaging in drugs, alcohol and pre-marital sex. The victims in The Strangers - Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, really selling the hell out of their characters - were picked purely because they were at home when the killers came knocking.
That sense of unease, the grim reality of the killers' motives, is what pushed people over the edge into disliking the film in general, an opinion that has thankfully changed in the years since then.
With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 45%, The Strangers couldn't rely on the kindness of critics to help the movie become profitable. Regardless, the $9 million production went on to make $82 million at the box office, and despite getting a solid following on home video since then, it has taken the guts of a decade to get the sequel we've all been waiting for.
Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) and Martin Henderson (The Ring) will star in Strangers: Prey At Night, and is expected to arrive in cinema in March 2018.
Check out our previous recommendations below: