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"THE STRANGERS"
(2008) (Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Extreme Extreme Extreme Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Mild Heavy None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Mild *Minor Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Horror/Suspense: A couple must contend with masked figures who terrorize them in a house.
PLOT:
It's been a long night for Kristen McKay (LIV TYLER) and James Hoyt (SCOTT SPEEDMAN). Arriving at his father's empty summer home following another couple's wedding, James thought he had everything figured out and arranged the place for a romantic setting, complete with champagne and roses everywhere. Yet, when he popped the big question, Kristen turned him down, leaving both of them in a confused funk.

Calling off their planned road trip together, the two console each other over a future marriage that's not to be. But just when that leads to some fooling around, they're interrupted by a knock at the door. At 4 a.m., by a young woman looking for someone who doesn't live there.

Kristen and James aren't sure what to make of that, but figure it's just a fluke, and thus James heads off to replenish Kristen's cigarette supply. While he's gone, however, the young woman returns and again knocks and then bangs on the door. Kristen is unnerved by this, but that gets worse when she believes that someone's in the house. Armed with a kitchen knife, she retreats to a bedroom for safety, only to realize the most recent sounds were made by James who's returned.

Although he doesn't initially believe her story, a series of events soon change his mind. From that point on, the unhappy couple quickly realize that their failed romance is the least of their worries as a hooded man and two mask-wearing women proceed to terrorize them in that house.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into "boogeyman" type horror films, or are fans of Tyler or Speedman, they might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For violence/terror and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • SCOTT SPEEDMAN plays Kristen's boyfriend who's disappointed and dejected that she turned down his marriage proposal. He's brought out of his funk (during which he drinks champagne) by the trio terrorizing him and Kristen. He uses strong profanity, starts to fool around with her (but is interrupted) and does what he can to get him and Kristen out of this bad situation.
  • LIV TYLER plays his girlfriend who's sad that she had to turn him down, but that's mostly forgotten once the terrorizing begins. She smokes, drinks some, uses some strong profanity, briefly starts to fool around with him (but is interrupted), and tries to survive, all while frightened.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated horror/suspense film. Profanity consists of at least 12 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. An unmarried couple starts to fool around and the scene starts to get steamy, but they're interrupted before they go too far, while that woman is briefly seen in small panties by herself.

    Violence consists of a person being shot in the face with a shotgun, while others are repeatedly stabbed with knives. Some property damage also occurs. Much of the direct physical contact has bloody/gory results, and those scenes and various moments of potential peril (which makes up most of the film) might be unsettling, suspenseful and/or scary for viewers.

    The perpetrators of such mayhem obviously have bad attitudes, and their actions and other behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate. There's brief drinking and one character smokes several times.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's all sorts of camera movement (most of it bobbing around in all directions) throughout the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • James calls a friend for a ride the next day, and tells his answering machine, "I know you're f*cking drunk."
  • We see a flashback to Kristen and others having champagne at the wedding.
  • James grabs the prearranged bottle of champagne in the summer house. Later, he opens it, takes a swig from the bottle, and then hands it to Kristen who does the same. Even later, we see him drink from the same outside the house before throwing the bottle aside in anger/frustration. He then gets in his car and drives off (to the store for Kristen).
  • Kristen has a beer.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We hear a person's frantic call to 911 (about there being blood everywhere) while two young missionaries (boys) examine the house after the fact, spotting blood on an inside wall and on a knife on the floor.
  • James' knuckles appear to be red (the camera focuses on them at the beginning), but that's never explained.
  • Kristen's hand is bloody (either from holding a knife or breaking a lamp). We later see a better view of her bloody palm.
  • When a figure crosses into his line of sight, James fires his shotgun, hitting the person in the head, killing him. We see blood on the wall and on the person's now disfigured and gory face. We later see blood on James's shirt.
  • We see more views of a dead and bloody man with a shotgun blast to his head.
  • Kristen has a bloody slice on her cheek, while James has various streams of blood down his face.
  • Spoiler Alert: The intruders take turns stabbing one or more knives into two bound people (gut and chest). We see some blood and hear the sounds of more stabbing and screaming.
  • Two young missionaries (boys) slowly enter the house and find bloody bodies on the floor, along with blood elsewhere.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Those terrorizing the couple obviously have bad attitudes.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • We hear a person's frantic call to 911 (about there being blood everywhere) while two young missionaries (boys) examine the house after the fact, spotting a busted windshield on a burned car, blood on an inside wall and on a knife on the floor, and a shotgun sitting on the counter.
  • James and Kristen are a bit unnerved by a knock on the front door at 4 a.m., but it's just a young woman looking for someone who doesn't live there.
  • After James has left to go to the store for her, Kristen is alone in the house when there's a lone knock on the door. That's followed by another lone one, with Kristen slowly walking toward the door. We then hear the voice of the same young woman from before, asking for the same person as before. Kristen then realizes that the door is (or has been) unlocked.
  • Smoke starts to pour from the chimney, resulting in the smoke detector going off, followed by loud knocking at the door.
  • While she's on it, the landline phone Kristen's using goes dead.
  • With Kristen unaware of the same, we see the hooded man watching her from a distance in the background of the shot (a creepy scene).
  • Hearing sounds inside the house, Kristen grabs a large kitchen knife and slowly walks through the house. That's followed by more sounds at the door, with her realizing someone's likely in the house with her.
  • Kristen opens the curtains to discover the hooded figure standing there. She then finds the front door slightly ajar and hears approaching footsteps. When she goes to the door, a masked figure is suddenly there. Kristen then goes to hide in the bedroom, all as an album on the record player repeatedly skips (which adds a loud irritant to the suspense). She tries to hide under the bed but won't fit, breaks a lamp to darken the light, and then hears footsteps approaching the room, but it turns out to be James.
  • James slowly walks through the house, looking for the intruders that Kristen has reported. He then spots a masked woman standing off in the distance outside, but then she's gone.
  • When James reaches down to the floor in his car, we see a hand reach out for the back of his neck. It touches him there and he freaks out, but when he spins around, no one is there.
  • James and Kristen try to leave in their car, but a large truck blocks their way. It then rams their car, they see another masked figure, and they get out right before the truck smashes into the car again.
  • James and Kristen find the word "hello" written everywhere in one room.
  • Something repeatedly smacks against a window.
  • An ax repeatedly bashes and breaks through the front door, with James and Kristen pushing a piano to block it. With the ax hitting continuing, James then fires a shotgun blast through the door, but apparently does not hit anyone.
  • James and Kristen wait in a closet or small room, with him aiming a shotgun at the open door.
  • Something smashes into another person's windshield. That man then slowly enters and walks through the house, not seeing a masked figure come out of the darkness, or a hooded one come up behind him holding an ax. He then continues, unaware that James is waiting in the next room with a loaded shotgun.
  • When a figure crosses into his line of sight, James fires his shotgun, hitting the person in the head, killing him. We see blood on the wall and on the person's now disfigured and gory face. James then tackles Kristen to the floor so she doesn't see the sight.
  • James slowly heads outside to go to the shed to try to use the ham radio there, leaving Kristen by herself in the house. He creeps up on the shed, and spots a masked figure who then sees him. Before he can give off a shot, however, the hooded figure races up on him from behind.
  • As Kristen sits waiting on one side of a glass door, we see the hooded figure slowly approaching from the other side. She gets spooked and then runs off in the darkness, but doesn't see the dip in the ground that sends her crashing against its far side, injuring her leg.
  • A masked figure shows up behind Kristen, but then disappears.
  • Kristen enters a dark shed, and hears various noises within and outside it, including the sound of something being dragged along its ribbed siding. Kristen then tries contacting someone on the ham radio, but a masked figure then repeatedly smashes that.
  • Kristen tries to crawl to safety outdoors, but freezes when she sees the hooded figure, but he doesn't see her.
  • Kristen hides in a closet with a louvered door and she sees the hooded figure enter the room and twice look directly at the door, but do nothing. A masked figure then suddenly appears right at the door and starts smashing through the louvers, with Kristen fighting back, but the figure then suddenly stops.
  • A masked figure plays around with a knife and then picks it up, slowly coming toward Kristen who quickly rummages for a weapon and pulls out a small knife. Just then, the hooded figure comes in and throws James to the floor, with one figure telling Kristen, "You're gonna die."
  • The hooded figure grabs and slams Kristen against a wall, knocking her out. He then drags her across the floor, with her slowly coming to and trying to grab hold of something.
  • Spoiler Alert: The intruders take turns stabbing one or more knives into two bound people (gut and chest). We see some blood and hear the sounds of more stabbing and screaming.
  • The truck of killers stops by two young missionaries (boys), but only to get one of their pamphlets.
  • Two young missionaries (boys) slowly enter the house and find bloody bodies on the floor, along with blood elsewhere.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Shotgun/Ax/Knives: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound, or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "I know you're f*cking drunk," "A f*cking mask," "Get the f*ck out of here," "Waiting on you hand and f*cking foot," "What the f*ck?" "Bitch" (adjective), "Sucks," "You're a jerk" (said playfully) and "You're gonna die."
  • The terrorizing and various frightful moments might be enticing for some kids to try to imitate.
  • James drives after drinking.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Kristen opens the curtains to discover the hooded figure standing there. She then finds the front door slightly ajar, and when she goes to it, a masked figure is suddenly there.
  • James opens the door to find Kristen there (accompanied by sudden music on the soundtrack).
  • A seemingly dead figure suddenly rears up and screams.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful and ominous music occurs in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 12 "f" words, 4 "s" words, 1 hell, and 1 use each of "Jesus Christ," "Oh Christ," "Oh God" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • To help her undress, James undoes the back of Kristen's dress. We see her bare back then and again when she sits on the edge of a bathtub still in that open-back dress. We next see her in the bubble bath, but her knees are drawn to her chest and we don't see anything explicit.
  • Kristen comes up behind James to console him and then turns him around so that they hug. That then turns sensual, with her bare leg going up alongside him, and him then spreading her legs as she sits up on something that allows him to move in close to her. His hand goes up her thigh and removes a garter (or her underwear) and she starts to undo his pants, but a knock at the door interrupts them and nothing else sexual happens.
  • We briefly see Kristen in small panties while changing clothes.
  • SMOKING
  • Kristen smokes at least three times (including lighting up one from an ashtray) and then announces she's out of cigarettes. James goes to get her some, and we see him retrieving a few packs from the front floor of his car upon his return.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • While they're technically not a family, James and Kristen are upset and in a funk after she turned down his earlier marriage proposal.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Random crimes/violence.
  • What to do when strangers knock on the door late at night.
  • Why the two don't call the police.
  • Using terror to control others.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Kristen's hand is bloody (either from holding a knife or earlier breaking a lamp to darken it).
  • James finds that his windshield has been smashed and it looks as if the other windows have been broken as well.
  • James and Kristen try to leave in their car, but a large truck blocks their way. It then rams their car, they see another masked figure, and they get out right before the truck smashes into the car again.
  • An ax repeatedly bashes and breaks through the front door, with James and Kristen pushing a piano to block it. With the ax hitting continuing, James then fires a shotgun blast through the door, but apparently does not hit anyone.
  • When a figure crosses into his line of sight, James fires his shotgun, hitting the person in the head, killing him. We see blood on the wall and on the person's now disfigured and gory face. James then tackles Kristen to the floor so she doesn't see the sight.
  • As Kristen sits waiting on one side of a glass door, we see the hooded figure slowly approaching from the other side. She gets spooked and then runs off in the darkness, but doesn't see the dip in the ground that sends her crashing against its far side, injuring her leg.
  • A masked figure repeatedly smashes a ham radio.
  • We see a car that's been set on fire.
  • Kristen hides in a closet with a louvered door and she sees the hooded figure enter the room and twice look directly at the door, but do nothing. A masked figure then suddenly appears right at the door and starts smashing through the louvers, with Kristen fighting back, but the figure then suddenly stops.
  • The hooded figure grabs and slams Kristen against a wall, knocking her out. He then drags her across the floor, with her slowly coming to and trying to grab hold of something.
  • Spoiler Alert: The intruders take turns stabbing one or more knives into two bound people (gut and chest). We see some blood and hear the sounds of more stabbing and screaming.



  • Reviewed May 20, 2008 / Posted May 30, 2008

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