May 30, 2008

The Strangers

By: Sonny Bunch

So I reviewed the new Liv Tyler/Scott Speedman horror flick The Strangers this week. I think I might have gotten a little ambitious with my thesis, so instead of quoting it I’ll quote a superior review. From Scott Tobias at the AV Club:

The Strangers could be labeled “torture porn,” because there’s really nothing to it beyond watching ants squirm under the magnifying glass. The difference is that it’s mostly psychological torture porn, and the biggest dive-under-your-chair moments come from how skillfully [director Bryan] Bertino handles his sadistic cat-and-mouse game.

He’s dead on–I actually remember thinking as I left the theater “this is torture porn without the physical torture.” The feeling of helplessness created within the viewer as you watch Speedman and Tyler run around like idiots is almost palpable; my chest was literally tight with anxiety while watching the last two thirds of the film. Eli Roth could learn a lesson or two from Bertino about creating tension and terror without throwing buckets of blood at the screen.

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