When the subject of modern horror classics gets brought up, one of the most frequently mentioned titles is “The Strangers.” The slasher elements and the story of a home invasion don’t make the movie as cerebral as something like “Midsommar” or “The VVitch,” but it doesn’t have to be. The fairly basic premise and atmosphere was enough to make it not only a surprise box-office success in 2008, but also a cult classic in the years since. While it did get a sequel 10-years later, it wasn’t nearly as well received, which seemed to put the property down for the count…or did it?
“The Strangers” is coming back, and it’s going to be a TRILOGY this time.
Veteran horror and action director Renny Harlin has been tapped to direct the first film in the trilogy. Harlin is an interesting choice. While he has directed some fantastic action films (including “Die Hard 2,” and“Cliffhanger“), he has also directed some absolute flops (“Cutthroat Island,” “Driven,” “The Legend of Hercules“). His horror films have been hit or miss; “A Nightmare on Elm Street IV: The Dream Master,” “Deep Blue Sea” but also subjecting the world to “Exorcist: The Beginning” and “The Covenant.” So, in terms of talent behind the camera, Harlin certainly knows how to make a quality film, he just hasn’t done it consistently.
This reboot seems to be following a similar premise to the first film. There’s a couple staying in a vacation home that begin being stalked and maliciously scared by three people in masks. Their intent is unknown but boy-howdy, do they seem to have some ill-intent in mind for them! If you haven’t seen the original then the less you know, the better. That being said, the strangers’ actual reason for doing what they do is perhaps the creepiest part of all.
Lionsgate intends to be “expanding the story in new and unexpected ways with its sequels.” How do you take a home invasion flick and push it in new and unexpected ways? Are the titular strangers actually mole people?
Is it the kind of film that needs a sequel? Not really. The new version will feature “Riverdale” actress Madelaine Petsch as she and her boyfriend suffer a vehicular breakdown in the middle of nowhere in Oregon. Yes, middle of nowhere in Oregon is redundant, but apparently it’s not remote enough to avoid an Airbnb rental nearby. That’s where they stay and that’s where the horrific shenanigans begin.
Now might be a good time to mention the writing team is Alan R. Cohen and Alan Feedland. The pair have worked primarily on comedies including “Lopez,” “King of the Hill,” “American Dad!,” and the film “Due Date.” You know, *exactly* the resume you’d expect to see in your horror movie writing team.
But hey, maybe everything will come together to create a great series of films. We could be pleasantly surprised and lord knows that the staff here enjoys a good horror movie. We look forward to seeing how things materialize from here. Just to be on the safe side though, we’re probably going to stay out of Oregon for a while and avoid trios of people walking around in masks. Better safe than sorry after all.