Thursday, May 29, 2008


So we were fairly pleased to see the initial 'retro style' poster way back in January for THE STRANGERS, even though the story sounded a hell of a lot like the French film ILS, aka THEM from 2006. Then we saw the trailer and thought, "Hey, looks like it could be really creepy". Not gory or fantastical, but a tight little thriller that might give us pause when our heads hit the pillow, wondering if we remembered to lock the door. Well... I don't even remember getting into bed after watching this film.

THE STRANGERS is the very small story of James (Scott Speedman) and Kristen (Liv Tyler), spending the night in a somewhat isolated summer house after attending a wedding reception. They are terrorized by three strangers in masks. To tell you any more of the plot would give away what little there is that you havn't already gleamed from the trailer. Obviously, people in weird masks are scary.

At first I was really feeling it. There's a built in tension that I felt was played very well before we get to 'the strangers', and the initial reactions to these possible intruders gave me a bit of hope that we were not going to fall into the trap of jeopardy due to the protagonists idiotic actions. YES! If you're alone and you thing a weirdo is hanging around outside your isolated summer home, for god sakes grab a kitchen knife. Yay, common sense prevails... but unfortunately it doesn't last.

Yes, there a few 'jump out of your seat' moments and there were squeals from the audience when suddenly one of these masked strangers appeared in a window or slowly wondered into frame while our protagonists stood nearby unawares... but that was it. Soon enough I was calling all the typical mistakes and seemingly necessary scenes from countless movies where the writing isn't strong enough to convince us that if we were in the same situation we would have easily escaped 30 minutes into the movie. First there's 'you stay here while I go here'. Really? You're fairly sure there are ax murderers outside your front door, but I'm going to leave the woman I love alone in the house while I go do 'whatever'. Then there was the pre-requisite of where our heroine must trip and fall when running away, twisting her ankle and forcing her to hobble around for the rest of the film. And of course there's the friend who unawares stumbles in the fray... godspeed to you our slight chance at rescue!

On top of these cliches, we're given villains without a bit of personality or reason for their actions, not that it matters when our protagonists don't have the common sense God gave a rock.
Telling us it was "inspired by true events" only convinced me of the old adage "Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story."

Luke Shapiro's Dope Show

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Masochism is a valuable job skill."

I don't know why certain entertainment mega-corps release trailers for upcoming films on their websites (Mtv!) but then restrict it's viewing to only the U.S. It's the INTERNET! You know, the WORLD wide web. Clearly someone else, such as the nice folks at TRAILER ADDICT, are gonna rip it off and present it for all to see.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Poster Post

Click the big red guy above for 5 new banner posters.

First thought... Radiohead's video for the song JUST...

Second thought... this might be M. Night's last chance to make good, and the word so far is far from good.

Any Palahniuk film is a pal of mine! *Yes, I know that's lame :P

A brilliant, heart wrenching flick from the UK. So far it looks like it'll only receive a limited theatrical run in the US, seek it out if you can. Click the poster to see the trailer.