|I saw the movie The Strangers and found myself rather depressed by the whole affair. Without spoiling the movie, it centers around boyfriend and girlfriend, James Hoyt and Kristin McKay, who are staying at a summer house following a friend's wedding. At 4 a.m., there is a knock at the door. What follows (and the commercials pretty much give this much away) is essentially an hour of three masked strangers tormenting the couple. Liv Tyler's performance was good and Scott Speedman's performance okay. While there is plenty of back story to their damaged relationship, beyond that, there is NO STORY.
"Inspired by true events" (meaning not a true story of this couple, but based on various crimes), the movie is cliche and predictable while lumbering along to an unsatisfying conclusion. Despite a lack of story, the movie is finely crafted. An example: when Kristin first realizes she is not safe in the home which only hours earlier had been relaxing and comforting, the camera work becomes jumpy and off kilter, lending to the feeling that nothing is safe, nothing is concrete, everyhing can change in an instant. The framing of shots was also excellent, with all the right things being shown... and hidden. Despite being well crafted, The Strangers was not enjoyable.
Maybe I'm just sick of this sort of horror movie that offers nothing of value. Some reviewers call the genre 'torture porn' and I would say that is a pretty good description (though to be fair, the violence in the movie is limited to a few scenes). Still, I felt numb after watching it. I'm not against movies which run along these themes if they bring anything new to the genre, such as the superb High Tension or the character-driven The Descent.
If you saw the movie, feel free to comment or email me your thoughts.
Now, on to the comic. A new Todd and Penguin is up tonight. Come back Friday for day 3 of uninterupted updates. Yes, I said Friday, all you doubters. Astute readers may recognize the landscape from today's strip from another of my comics.
Labels: movies, todd and penguin