Thursday, June 05, 2008

Strangers When We Meet

I loved "The Strangers".

Opening day, there was a rowful of high school boys sitting behind me in the theater and I was bracing for a steady stream of snarky, sarcastic comments. The kind of unasked-for audience commentary that you're forced to suffer in these types of movies. (People like to prove that they aren't scared.)

Instead, these boys were screaming their fool heads off. Several times, I heard one whisper to another, "This is the scariest movie I've ever seen!"

I'll say it was certainly the tensest film I've seen in movie theaters in quite a while. Big, big ups to writer/director Bryan Bertino.

Over the weekend, I started reading some of the negative critiques of the movie, which was a fucking bummer. Yes, I know, the internet LOVES to complain. And the internet particularly loves complaining about horror movies. For a genre that's so popular, it's strange that it's almost impossible to unite people behind a movie.

I love the economy of "The Strangers". It's not reinventing the wheel. It takes the conventions and plays them through very effectively. Most of the horror movies that get put out there can't manage that. It doesn't try to be more than it is. A simple, elegantly-rendered thrill-ride.