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Strangers, The


Stars: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman, Glenn Howerton

Director: Bryan Bertino

This scary but silly film has been labelled Funny Games 2, although in fact it's more like the French-Romanian film Them, as people do silly things guaranteed to get themselves killed.

Arriving home grumpy in the wee small hours after she has rejected his marriage proposal, James (Speedman) and Kristen (Tyler) are shocked when there's a thunderous knock on the door and a girl stands there asking for Tamra.

This, I suppose, establishes that James and Kristen, who were about to have sex, are at home. At any rate, they soon find themselves terrorised by a trio of masked psychos whose sole aim is to torment, torture and kill them.

Things get quite frightening, but foolish at the same time. Given that you had a loaded shotgun, albeit you were cowering in a bedroom, would you venture outside, even after you'd just accidentally shot your best friend (Howerton), who was trying to help you? I think not.

'I promise I'll be fine,' Speedman assures Tyler, bringing a snort of derision from the preview audience. Still, director Bertino shreds our nerves nicely; what a shame his scenario isn't more believable.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Universal. Technicolor.
85 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 24 Aug 2008