After a 4 a.m. knock at the door and a haunting voice, Kristen McKay (Liv Tyler, The Leftovers) and James Hoyt (Scott Speedman, Underworld) find that their remote getaway becomes a night of psychological terror as three masked strangers invade. Faced with inscrutable tormentors, Kristen and James must go beyond what they think they’re able to endure if they have any hope to survive. -Shoutfactory.com
Though it’s divisive, I’ve long considered The Strangers to be one of the best modern “scary” movies. It doesn’t rely on gore or false scares, just creepy imagery and photography tricks. A simple scene in this movie, where Liv Tyler’s character is looking out the window, and barely visible in the background is one of the “Strangers” slowly appearing in the doorway. Simple, and effective. I love when horror movies do things a little differently. Thinking back, most of my favorite modern horror movies employed this tactic.
The fact that we’re a couple of weeks away from a Strangers sequel, made this the perfect time to release this Collector’s Edition. I’m not sure how the sequel will turn out, but being able to revisit the original so close to the sequel’s release was a treat. I was worried that the movie wouldn’t hold up, and boy was I wrong. Not only did it hold up, but I may have even developed a further appreciation for it. It seems like most mainstream horror over the last few years is either a horror/comedy, or a gore soaked horror/action hybrid. Either that, or the so-called “scary” movies consist of few actual scares, and an abundance of false scares.
The Strangers was a “mainstream” horror film, being released widely theatrical, but it’s a totally different beast. If done right, minimalism in horror can be more effective than showcasing the gore and carnage. Don’t get me wrong, I love some horror/comedies, and I definitely love a good gore fest, but there are so many of them, only a few stick out as great films. The Strangers is great from start to finish, and the lack of any real on-screen gore makes it even more effective. Shortly after the film starts, there’s a constant sense of dread looming in the background, slowly amping up for the conclusion. And not only that, the slow build is definitely paid off in the end. Other films like this in which I am a superfan includes things like The House of the Devil by Ti West. In the right crowd, this is high praise, to compare the two. The only thing these two films have in common, however, is a good slow build, and the execution of minimalism instead of nonstop carnage.
Scream Factor’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of the film is super good. Though the film had a previous Blu-ray release via Universal, this new Collector’s Edition is better in every possible way. No longer is both cuts of the film squeezed onto one BD. Each cut – the Theatrical, and the Unrated – have been given their own disc. This makes for a higher bitrate, and a better encode than the previous release, and it shows in the quality of the new 2K remaster of both cuts. This Blu-ray also has a couple of audio tracks for each version of the film I only switched to the 2.0 tracks for comparison, but the 5.1 tracks are excellent. While the center channel focuses mainly on the dialog, the background noises, footsteps, etc perfectly make use of a surround system. Having all of this stuff on separate channels makes the film even more creepy and disturbing. This release also comes with several pieces of bonus content, including a new retrospective documentary, and several other pieces of bonus content ported over from previous releases.
Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of The Strangers will be available on March 6th. You can pre-order your copy by visiting the Shout! Factory website.
- NEW HD Master Of The Theatrical Cut Taken From The 2K Digital Intermediate
- The Element Of Terror – Interviews With The Cast And Crew
- Strangers At The Door – Interviews With Writer/Director Bryan Bertino And The Cast
- Deleted Scenes
- TV Spots
- Theatrical Trailer
- NEW HD Master Of The Unrated Cut Taken From The 2K Digital Intermediate
- NEW Defining Moments – An Interview With Writer/Director Bryan Bertino
- NEW All The Right Moves – An Interview With Actor Kip Weeks (Man In The Mask)
- NEW Brains And Brawn – An Interview With Actress Laura Margolis (Pin Up Girl)
- NEW Deep Cuts – An Interview With Editor Kevin Greutert
- Still Gallery