The Strangers (2008)

Written & Directed by: Bryan Bertino


Scott Speedman .... James Hoyt
Liv Tyler .... Kristen McKay
Gemma Ward .... Dollface
Kip Weeks .... Man in the Mask

Release Dates: Theatrical: May 29, 2008 (Russia); May 30, 2008 (USA); Frightfest: August 22, 2008 (UK)

*Images courtesy at:





A young couple James Hoyt (Scott Speedman) and Kristen McKay (Liv Tyler) returns from a wedding reception in an isolated vacation house in the woods.
Suddenly a during strange hours they receive knocks on their door which they're too scared to answer them and then three people in masks seem to stalk them as well as pursue to kill them with their telephone line cut as well as their vehicle destroyed leaving nowhere to run but try to survive themselves and use any type of weapon against them from being attacked or killed.


Great mysterious beginning that involves the couple James Hoyt and Kristina McKay having their still moments together as you wonder if they're disturbed or upset on what's going on as well as flashback moments on the two enjoying themselves at a friend's wedding which changes the mode.
Then an impressive moment when it's late at night they hear a loud banging on the door wondering who would do this late at night in which they're cautiously looking at the door and slowly going to it as this left a chill down my spine wondering what will happen if they open the door.
There's so many creepy moments with Kristen MacKay in the house alone with her reactions when the door is knocking and her listening next to the door. Good shots on her crying and getting scared after hearing the thumping sounds.
We have a perfect angle shot on her going to the kitchen to get a knife and a blurry background on the man in the mask watching and then later on disappearing as it definetely sends a chill up your spine. Plus a good moment on her slowly approaching a door that started to open a crack which is scary when she slowly approaches it thinking that this is a bad idea.
We also have a good jumping moment when she lifts up the drapes on her window and sees the man in the mask there acting menacing and banging on the window. This made me jump out of my seat plus other situations trying to hide near a bed or corner as well as her record starting to play in which makes more jumping moments since things are silent and still taking you by surprise. Also we hear footsteps approaching near her as this was creepy making you wonder if one of the maniacs are going to attack her.
A good close up shot on James with a distance shot on Dollface in the distance.
Good shot on a truck crashing into him while in his car which packs a suspenseful punch. This adds alot of action as well as suspenseful terror by being pitted against a maniac driving a vehicle showing no mercy.
There's also terrific jumping moments with shots on an axe smashing through a door. Alot of this looked incredibly powerful when both Kristen and James are pushing a drawer to block the killers path in order to get in. Plus great camera shots on the axe chopping it's way to get the door to open.
More great creepy moments with the two of them hiding in a bedroom and holding a shotgun waiting for one of the maniacs to enter the room as this keeps you watching in suspense and done in a great horror fashion.
We spot a good still scene with a man walking into the cabin with the music playing and him slowly looking around with the man in the mask right behind him holding an axe. This was carefully done with this man stopping as you wonder if he will turn around and notice this maniac or not as well as wondering if he will survive or not.
Perfect outdoor scene's with Kristen helplessly crawling outside to go to a shack and try to find some way to get help along with her trying not to be seen by the three maniacs stalking the house. More great still moments and will guarantee to still leave a chill down your spine.
A good shot on Kristen weakly in pain crawling to a cell phone that's ringing as well as a good shot on the man in the mask walking towards her.
Great moments with Kristen face to face with Dollface and this crazy woman about to pick up a kitchen knife and then Kristen herself trying to find a sharp object along with great intense moments on her trying to get away with shots on the two other killers trying to get to her.
The ending is a bit of a disappointment but still leaves an unsolved mystery as to who these maniacs were but with what we've seen beforehand earned an excellent rating.
Bottom line: If you put When a Stranger Calls and Scream together what do you have??? You have even a scarier type of story which really works well.
Imagine if you're out in a cabin in the middle of nowhere trapped inside and your lines are cut, having nowhere to escape it totally trips you out that these killers are watching you and can take their time to kill you as well. It definetely leaves an impression to you when you are all alone in a house and not wanting to answer the door and fearing someone out there is watching you when you hear the still heavy knockings.
The story was greatly done and a solid performance too as there's not a boring moment at all. The film is so still with the knocking sounds this one will scare you to the core to make you too afraid to go away somewhere isolated.
The scenery looks very dark and you never know when a masked killer will show up next especially when things are really quiet and alot of moments making you jump big time.

The acting is marvellous as Liv Tyler (Kristen McKay) does a great job with her freaked out actions bringing alot of energy to her role. She shows a nice still attitude in the beginning of the film as well as acting emotional too. She showed some great paranoid expressions along with some nice intense screaming to top it all off. She was very fit psysically as you can tell when she was trying to run away and survive the madness.
Scott Speedman
(James Hoyt) does well as the calm one in the film trying to hold his sanity together and shows great aggressions too. He had a great serious attitude along with showing some good expressions to his part.
A good aggression to tell someone to leave in a scene. He does well on the floor crying when he realised he acidentally shot his friend.
Supporting actress Gemma Ward (Dollface) is good for her part as a mysterious one and not to be trusted at all.
She showed off a nice still mysterious and strange speaking when she is at the door. Plus does well spying or slowly moving to get a kitchen knife along with other moments making her role truly slick.

A man's eyes are shot out and bloodied

There's terrific banging sounds and other suspenseful effects which will guarantee you to be frightened. Plus there's the odd mild deep bass violin music which sounded nice. Also some odd clanging and groaning sound effects along with some spooky hissing too that worked like a charm. All of this was composed by tomandandy.