The Strangers (2008)

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A young couple return home from a party in the early hours to be terrorised by masked strangers.

That’s it. This film reminded me of Open Water, in that it’s “based on true events” about a couple in a scary situation, but the fact is that no-one really knows what happened. And according to the script writers of both films, the answer is: nothing much. The Strangers is a purely by the numbers slasher flick that uses all the usual devices of shadowy figures appearing and disappearing in the background, faces appearing at windows, menacing bumps in the night yadda yadda. The characters do all the usual cowering in wardrobes and falling flat on their faces as soon as they try to run away and do nothing but whimper in corners and shout “Why are you doing this to us?!!” like good little victims. But I couldn’t help thinking that if I was up against a couple of willowy young women and a guy with a bag on his head armed with what he found in my tool shed – and I had a pump action shotgun – I’d fancy my chances. It’s adequately directed and there’s some nice use of sound effects and music but as a whole it’s a more like a plotless film student’s exercise than a film.

A cinematic ghost train ride for pubescent teenagers weaned on Saw.

4.5/10

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