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The Stangers: Collector's Edition (2008) - Blu-ray Review

Movie Review

4 beersKristen McKay (Liv Tyler) and James Hoyt (Scott Speedman) are in for one hell of a fright night in writer/director Bryan Bertino’s stunning debut, The Strangers. Had these unfortunate victims not been home at the time that three sadistic killers came a-knocking then nothing would have happened. Nothing. The masked freaks who torment them the rest of the night – with bumps, howls, knives, and other sadistic forms of torture – would have simply moved on to another house.

But that’s not what happens when Gemma Ward as Dollface, Kip Meeks as The Man with the Mask, and Laura Margolis as Pin-Up Girl come round just a hair past 4 in the morning. Even we are disturbed by the loud knock. There’s a lot of tension in the household. Diverting our attention away from a very human situation is going to be hard. The intensely dramatic conversation happening between one heartbroken guy and his best girl, who just refused his hand in marriage, gets us right into the scenario. We can easily relate and, right when they are in the act of forgiving one another, there comes that blasted knock.

And then again for good measure. Out in the middle of nowhere, this comes across as damn spooky.

This remote ranch house – open and spacious – suddenly becomes a war zone as the two people inside it are initially split up by a random errand and then tasked with surviving these fierce hooligans together. The Strangers, originally released in 2008 after being fumbled around by Hollywood for a number of years, is when Horror got back to basics and proved, once again, just how to be damn effective at scaring the living shit out of an audience.

And the critics hammered it hard. Vile. Sadistic. Horrible. At least it is short, suggested one. They never understood what Bertino (Monster), who has gone on to be a master at creating mood and mayhem, was laying down. The scenes are drawn out and keep us covering our eyes as shadows with white faces appear and then disappear in the backgrounds of the house and in the surrounding woods. The jump scares are effective and so, too, are the many harsh sounds; everything – including the performances from Tyler and Speedman (and later Glenn Howerton as the friend who arrives in an attempt to save the day) – pitch perfect in creating a dread that simply will not EVER dissipate. Hell, I am still shaking by what I’ve just seen here in the Unrated Version of the movie.

Unfortunately, few people saw it and, among those that did, the critical consensus was low. For a number of years, I’ve wondered if the fools who shat all over this tense thriller even saw the same film as I did. In hindsight, I wonder how they feel now as The Strangers, evident by this GREAT release, is now considered a cult classic and has proven to be very influential in the direction that the horror genre took, saving it from its former bloated self.

Horror Hounds of Hell and Gore-Gore Ghouls already know this home invasion thriller is all sorts of tense but now, thanks to the valiant efforts of Scream Factory, fans of this criminally undervalued film get the long-awaited Collector’s Edition, complete with NEW INTERVIEWS, a BRAND NEW TRANSFER, and TWO DIFFERENT VERSIONS to watch, memorize, and try to wash off.

Games of cat and mouse are rarely this sadistic. The Strangers changed the rules. Own this Collector’s Edition now and meet these goons for yourself. They already know where you live.



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Film Details

The Stangers (2008) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R for violence/terror and language.
Runtime: 86 mins
Director: Bryan Bertino
Writer: Bryan Bertino
Cast: Scott Speedman, Liv Tyler, Gemma Ward
Genre: Horror
Tagline: We tell ourselves there's nothing to fear - but sometimes, we're wrong.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Since we've been here, I haven't heard a dog bark... or a car pass. Nothing. Just us and them."
Theatrical Distributor: Rogue Pictures
Official Site: www.thestrangersmovie.com/
Release Date: May 30, 2008
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: March 6, 2018
Synopsis: After a 4 a.m. knock at the door and a haunting voice, Kristen McKay (Liv Tyler, The Leftovers) and James Hoyt (Scott Speedman, Underworld) find that their remote getaway becomes a night of psychological terror as three masked strangers invade. Faced with inscrutable tormentors, Kristen and James must go beyond what they think they're able to endure if they have any hope to survive.



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The Stangers: Collector's Edition (2008) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray - March 6, 2018
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Taken from the 2K digital intermediate, the new transfer of the film – in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio – is seriously golden. The film is presented in this crackling Collector’s Edition courtesy of Scream Factory. The dastardly effects look fresh and appropriately bloodied. The domestic set is loaded with details unseen before. Overall, the film looks gloriously fresh in 1080p and buzzes with a new sense of urgency as the crisp visuals are punctuated in a way I previously had not noticed. The interiors are rich with details and bold black levels. Interiors, especially in the living room sequences, are solid and expressive. Black levels are strong throughout, revealing layers in the shadows of the woods is presented with warmth and clarity. With an English DTS-HD Master Audio Surround 5.1 as its source for sonics, the film simply doesn’t disappoint.




Special Features:

Fans are definitely going to want to fork over the dough to buy this version of this beloved cult classic. Spread out over two discs, the NEW supplemental items with NEW interviews from the cast and the crew, including the slipcover, the NEW HD master of the theatrical and the unrated cut, and the interviews with the cast are seriously GREAT. To put it simply, Scream Factory is going to please fans with their AWESOME handling of this movie.

Disc One:

NEW HD Master Of The Theatrical Cut Taken From The 2K Digital Intermediate

The Element Of Terror – Interviews With The Cast And Crew

Strangers At The Door – Interviews With Writer/Director Bryan Bertino And The Cast

Deleted Scenes

TV Spots

Theatrical Trailer

Disc Two:

NEW HD Master Of The Unrated Cut Taken From The 2K Digital Intermediate

NEW Defining Moments – An Interview With Writer/Director Bryan Bertino

NEW All The Right Moves – An Interview With Actor Kip Weeks (Man In The Mask)

NEW Brains And Brawn – An Interview With Actress Laura Margolis (Pin Up Girl)

NEW Deep Cuts – An Interview With Editor Kevin Greutert

Still Gallery


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The Stangers (2008) - Blu-ray Review