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Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Strangers (**1/2)


Liv Tyler's Afraid of Something

Beautifully shot but pointless. Liv Tyler is lovingly photographed and the cinematography is excellent: all moody blacks and warm browns. A young couple is attacked in their country home by masked psychos. The first act is remarkably good with solid performances by Tyler and Scott Speedman trying to sort through a dramatic crossroads in their relationship. Then there's a pounding at the door and the B-movie horror schlock kicks it, though gradually and with an effective bit of dread at first. There's a novel moment involving who Speedman shoots with his shotgun that's really the only interesting part of the horror story. Ultimately, The Strangers reveals itself as maddeningly grim and nihilistic.