The Strangers

Rated 1.0

Two young lovers (Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman) are terrorized in his family’s summer home by three people in creepy masks. “Inspired by true events,” intones a sepulchral voice before the credits—but the “true” events could only have been first-time writer-director Bryan Bertino going to see some Rob Zombie movies or the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and thinking: “Hmmm … too subtle, and not predictable enough.” So Bertino tells us how his movie’s going to end before the credits even roll, then underlines it with the first scene, just in case we didn’t notice. From there, it’s simply a matter of dragging us relentlessly to the blood-spattered finish line, with Tyler and Speedman doing the kicking and screaming. No suspense, no scares, only boredom laced with sadism, useless even as a bad example.