The Strangers Reviews

  • It sounds stupid enough, and ultimately is, but the director, Bryan Bertino, stages The Strangers' early scenes with spooky panache.

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • This is no splatter movie: spare, suspenseful and brilliantly invested in silence, Bryan Bertinoa(TM)s debut feature unfolds in a slow crescendo of intimidation.

    Jeannette Catsoulis — New York Times

  • Messy, intermittently effective ordeal horror.

    Peter Bradshaw — Guardian [UK]

  • The Strangers has a couple of scares, but it's not anywhere near as frightening as advertised. The creepy folks of the title are more fumbling than fiendish.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • I like watching snakes eat mice just as much as the next fella, maybe even more, but The Strangers turns the gobble-'em-up into an ordeal. It's a fraud from start to finish.

    Stephen Hunter — Washington Post

  • [Director] Bertino has the pretensions of an artist and the indelicacy of a hack. He tries to get under our skin with a pile driver.

    Wesley Morris — Boston Globe

  • An old-school spooker spun from the blood splatter on a wall, a nearby record player scratching an oldie, a CB radio in the garage, a creaky swing set in the backyard.

    Ed Gonzalez — Village Voice

  • Every silence, pause and sudden noise startles -- and the results, frankly, are more frightening than the graphic torture scenes in movies like Hostel and Saw.

    Elizabeth Weitzman — New York Daily News

  • The movie deserves more stars for its bottom-line craft, but all the craft in the world can't redeem its story.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • Anchored by convincing performances from Scott Speedman and Liv Tyler, both of whom elevate their roles above the standard horror-movie caricature, this is an enormously unsettling movie.

    Jessica Reaves — Chicago Tribune

  • There's nothing remotely new here, but the movie has the taut, queasy feel of an early 70s drive-in shocker: old-fashioned suspense without any guarantee of old-fashioned mercy.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • No one is getting at anything in The Strangers, except the cheapest, ugliest kind of sadistic titillation.

    Steven Rea — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • It's an efficiently made, appropriately terrifying film, downright minimalist in approach and all the more horrifying for it. It's so basic it's believable.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • If you're a fan of the genre, The Strangers provides all the shocks and scares you could possibly want.

    Randy Cordova — Arizona Republic

  • It's all efficiently nerve-jangling, with Tyler and Speedman credibly registering every hue of panic.

    Dennis Harvey — Variety

  • Kind of like what The Shining might be if you took out the ESP. And the ghosts. And the chilling atmosphere. So call it The Sucking.

    Kyle Smith — New York Post

  • Fans of the 'pitiless/merciless killers' school of horror should get a jolt out of The Strangers, a harrowing real-time tale of an assault on a remote country home.

    Roger Moore — Orlando Sentinel

  • With no plot to speak of, no character development whatsoever, no theme and precious little intrigue, what we have here is simply a pileup of effects. And not especially special effects.

    Susan Walker — Toronto Star

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