Parents' Guide to

The Strangers

By James Rocchi, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Violent horror film has both tension and gore.

Movie R 2008 90 minutes
The Strangers Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 16 parent reviews

age 17+

Stranger danger

Seems to be based on true events. Classic home invasion movie for the Halloween party. Some romance and drinking.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 18+

Horrible dont waste your money. Worst movie I ever saw.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (16):
Kids say (43):

When the scary stuff starts, it's very scary stuff -- plenty of jumps and jolts and moments when you'll be shouting at the screen. Watching The Strangers, it's clear that writer-director Bryan Bertino has studied the classic horror directors: There are hints of everyone from Alfred Hitchcock to Wes Craven in his camera work, composition, and editing. He also takes the time to establish his lead characters as people we're interested in, not just disposable victims; Speedman and Tyler both make their roles (no pun intended) come alive.

Much of The Strangers revolves around the threat of random terror coming to (and through) your front door; James and Kristen haven't done anything to deserve their torment at the hands of the three intruders aside from being home -- which is fairly terrifying to contemplate. The Strangers is violent, visceral stuff, to be sure, but it's also well made and more thoughtful than it could have been. Weighed against the gory, boring Hostel and Saw films, The Strangers feels like a chilling breath of fresh air. Sure, the film includes an all-too-standard setup for a sequel, but at the same time, while it's happening, The Strangers works as a well-made example of a film that delivers the squirmy, spooky, artificially induced anxiety we hope to feel when we go to a horror film.

Movie Details

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