I have watched a lot of horror movies. The original THE STRANGERS comes much in the spirit of THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, but is, although sick, a lot less disturbing, because less violent and less gruesome. I found the original to be a superficial b-horror movie, starting with an intro that already gave everything away and a finale that made me feel like being in a Rob Zombie movie, with the exception of the awakening scream that was just dumb and stupid (although a neat final scare). Annoying because it was not a ghost movie and not a fantasy movie.
Now the last movie of this kind that I watched was FUNNY GAMES and that really kind of changed my watching experience. That was a satire that played all the time with the feelings of the audience and it did that masterfully. THE STRANGERS felt most of the time like something you have seen many times before. It is voyeur horror. No monsters, just disturbing sickness. No true horror, but pain and disgust.
ThrowgnCpr took out what had to be taken out to really improve on this obvious and superficial movie. Liv Tyler gives a kickass performance and with the edits done she is moved in the complete focus. the movie starts emotional to give the audience a chance to connect to the characters, although they are not really likable, but that gives it a more realistic feel than the average happy couple being slaughtered.
Taking out the intro speech was a great idea. The movie built up tension for me until about minute 50, when I got the feeling that it all repeated itself over and over. Hunted, hidden, found, played with, scared. It is pretty obvious very soon that the couple does not stand a chance against the attackers and will not get out of this alive and that premises kind of ruins the thrill for the finale, which is just the end result of what you already knew would happen.
I found a bit strange that the attackers had so much fun in scaring Liv's character, when nobody was seen around watching it. That kind of let me miss the motive, which I would have needed to better understand what was happening and why. The solution: "BECAUSE YOU WERE HOME" is pretty much frustrating and disturbing. Should I now no longer answer the door? Never trust anyone again? Deny help? Is the world just a sick place and every day without harm a lucky one? Well, not in my life and I will try to avoid seeing it that way as long as I can. Without a psycho monster reality is present and makes you feel bad about the world in chaos.
Not showing the death of the main characters in the end is two sided sword. The original ending was way not perfect, but it included the reunion of the couple (besides being stabbed at the same time). Now we don't get that, but only hear what happens. the violence of the scenes is not needed and I can live with the new ending, but it is also taking something away. The last ten minutes of the original are completely gone and it is good that way. The boys do not add to the story at all and only make the movie more superficial than it already was, when they meet the killers. Well done.
Overall I see this movie very improved, still not a great one and not one to much remember for me.
The editing was flawless. No plotholes, no hard cuts. great beginning credits
editing: 5 of 5
entertainment: 3 of 5
video quality: I watched this on my computer and there was a slight flickering of the image during camera drives, also there was a very slight blurring effect in movements.
4 of 5
audio quality: perfect. great 5.1 audio.
5 of 5
presentation: the DVD comes with a very nice still main menu, animated chapter menus (very nice with the transparent effect) and a good looking info menu. All menus are with audio. Cover and disc art are included and look fantastic.
5 of 5
resulting in a 4 of 5 overall rating for this fanedit. You won't be disappointed by watching it. A good one.