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NEW Tyler/speedman - Strangers (Blu-ray)

Blu-ray
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 8.81
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Well made, but ultimately empty Jan. 25 2014
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I lie between those who see this as a masterpiece, and those who see it as en empty exercise in clichéd sadism. On the one side, the film is very well made and effective. The cinematography, the acting, the editing, the score and direction work together to create a lot of truly creepy uncomfortable suspense, without resorting to too much gore, especially in the film's first half.

On the other hand, it lacks any thematic core (as opposed to, for example "Territories" a recent low budget horror film that also managed to raise questions about political prisoners and xenophobic paranoia). It also lacks any psychological insight although the first half hints that might be where the film is going. But these horrific intruders aren't ultimately reflections of the main characters inner lives, or a comment on their emotional struggles. They're just generic, unexplained evil. The film does a good job of evoking a nightmare, but by not aiming higher misses the chance to be something more special than an effective scare machine.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well made, but ultimately empty Jan. 25 2014
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
I lie between those who see this as a masterpiece, and those who see it as en empty exercise in clichéd sadism. On the one side, the film is very well made and effective. The cinematography, the acting, the editing, the score and direction work together to create a lot of truly creepy uncomfortable suspense, without resorting to too much gore, especially in the film's first half.

On the other hand, it lacks any thematic core (as opposed to, for example "Territories" a recent low budget horror film that also managed to raise questions about political prisoners and xenophobic paranoia). It also lacks any psychological insight although the first half hints that might be where the film is going. But these horrific intruders aren't ultimately reflections of the main characters inner lives, or a comment on their emotional struggles. They're just generic, unexplained evil. The film does a good job of evoking a nightmare, but by not aiming higher misses the chance to be something more special than an effective scare machine.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Contrived... June 2 2009
By Martin A Hogan TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Liv Tyler ("Lord of the Rings", "Jersey Girl") and Scott Speedman ("Underworld") play a couple with a dissolving relationship spending the night in a vacation home. Claiming to be `inspired by true events', it's not difficult to believe. The story is a rehash of possibly every slasher film from the seventies. The real star here is the sound effects. The viewer is initially spooked by loud knockings on doors and other things that `go bump in the night'. After ten minutes, it becomes wearisome and nearly the entire film is a series of sound effects to fill in the voids. This is particularly annoying if you have surround sound.

The plot is remarkably static and contrived. A portly man and two women wearing masks besiege the couple throughout the night. They appear and disappear, seeming to just enjoy terrorizing the couple. But this couple does all the typical `do not go there' and `do not do that' stuff you've seen before. Why would the guy leave his girlfriend alone in the house to get cigarettes with this going on? Why would the gal leave the house and run in the dark to the barn to try and make a call? How could the guy claim to not know how to work a shotgun and then make a pinpoint perfect hit? Thankfully, director Bryan Bertino keeps the gore to a minimum until the end. However, even that has been done before. If you remember the end of "Carrie", you won't be shocked like you supposed to be. Thankfully, this film is only 86 minutes long.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Simple but effective... Oct. 15 2011
By Andre Farant TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
A mean, grim, little film that ratchets up the tension by playing on fears we all hold (to varying degrees). The climax is brutal but not unnecessarily so (this is a horror film, after all). It's simple but effective.
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