"Why are you doing this to us?"
"Because you were home."
Nick McCormick recommended this one, The Strangers. Now, I have an affinity for the home invasion genres. Last year's Hush and Don't Breathe are among my favorite horror/suspense films. When I learned about this home invasion film from 2008, I became enthused to check it out.
Without watching any trailers or reviews ahead of time, I was surprised to discover Liv Tyler was the lead of this film. She certainly became the centerpiece of the film, however, I couldn't quite get as invested in her character as I would have liked.
Let me set up the premise. Kristen and James leave a wedding, after he unsuccessfully proposes to her, and thus begins an awkward night. He promises to leave first thing in the morning (and leaves a message for his friend to pick him up), and will leave her the car. Then soon, a loud knock, no, more like a BANG! on the front door startles them. Opening it, they seen a small woman/girl, standing there asking if so-and-so was home.
This starts a cat-and-mouse game as three masked intruders invade them in their home. What were there motivations? That was never answered. As in the quote said above, they did this "because you were home." Now, I can get behind this, but what bugged me was the fact we had no answers to Kristen's motivations, really, to why she denied his proposal. A little backstory on her, even in dialogue, would have went a long way to making me care more about her.
Now, that's not all bad. The film was a fun ride, and for me, the suspense of this home invasion and how it all played out was thrilling to watch. Again, I really enjoy home invasion films. The cinematography and editing were great aspects of the film. I also learned the director, Bryan Bertino, had never directed a feature prior to this. Knowing this gives me a deeper appreciation of what he accomplished, and to land such star power as Liv Tyler is just short of amazing.
If you're looking for something to watch this season by yourself, late at night, this may be the one. It's on HBO Go/HBO Now if you have those services.
Nick, thanks for the recommendation! I thoroughly enjoyed it, but only wished the plot was a bit richer. My score? 5 bits out of 8.