The Strangers: Chapter One Review

User Rating: 4
The Strangers: Chapter One Review | Horrify.Net

The Strangers: Chapter One is a reimagining of the 2008 horror hit, The Strangers. Directed by Cliffhanger‘s Renny Harlin and written by Alan R Cohen in collaboration with Alan Freedland and Bryan Bertino; the latest intruder horror movie to grace our screens, however, plays out very much like the two previous franchise installments.

The Strangers: Chapter One Brings Nothing New to the Horror Banquet

As solid as a premise is, there comes a time when something new needs to be thrown into the mix in order to save a franchise from stagnation. Sadly, the Strangers franchise has failed to deliver on this vital front and has instead continued to roll out different variations of the same movie. To say that this new instalment is a “reimagining” is nothing short of ironic. To “re” anything, you must first do and there has been very little imagination shown across this franchise.

The Strangers: Chapter One Review | Horrify.Net

To add insult to injury, the writers have somehow managed to litter the whole movie with tired horror tropes and overused story segments. A prime example of this would be the opening parts of the movie, where the doomed couple break down in a small, weird town in the back of beyond. However, their luck appears to change when the creepy local mechanic declares that their vehicle won’t be fixed until the next day. However, all is well because there’s an Airbnb straight out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, just up the road.

The Strangers: Chapter One Review | Horrify.Net

This exact same situation has happened to countless couples across the horror universe. The last time I remember seeing this happen was just a few years ago in Wrong Turn 2021 and it’s about time that another way to lure unsuspecting idiots into traps needs to be thought up. With all the great minds contributing to our beloved genre, surely this isn’t too much to ask?

With so many clichés and platitudes flying from so many angles, it’s difficult to discern any unique angles or strokes of ingenuity, designed to make the movie stand out from the rest of the franchise. I may be being a little unfair here. Maybe I blinked and missed it.

The Strangers: Chapter One Does Have its Moments

Despite the above, The Strangers: Chapter One isn’t completely repulsive. There are a few moments where feelings of trepidation are conjured up. There’s a scene where Maya, one of the protagonists, is alone in the cabin and the Strangers come knocking. I did find myself slowly shifting to the edge of my seat as I waited for the inevitable jump scare as the Strangers found a way into the house. The ill-fated couple were likable and well cast, so I often found myself willing their survival.

The Strangers: Chapter One Review | Horrify.Net

The costume design also deserves a mention. While this is another aspect that remains unchanged for this “reimagining”, The Strangers are no doubt creepy and well-designed. Pin-up, Scarecrow and Doll Face are great characters but surely they should have been given different masks, considering this is supposed to be a fresh take on the popular franchise.

Strangers: Chapter One – Summary

The Strangers: Chapter One, in a nutshell, is 91 minutes of horror banalities with the occasional unsettling scene. There’s no over-the-top gore to be found here but the movie does well to create an unease that carries throughout.

With The Strangers: Chapter Two set to release some time this year, I can only hope that with it comes some originality and fresh ideas. It’s a good concept but runs the serious risk of becoming stale, predictable and forgettable.

While still enjoyable, The Strangers: Chapter One fails to break the proverbial mold in any way, shape, or form.

While still enjoyable, The Strangers: Chapter One fails to break the proverbial mold in any way, shape, or form.
  • Cool costume design
  • A good concept, if not overused
  • Likable characters
  • Too predictable
  • So many clichés
  • Nothing new

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