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What you are about to see is inspired by true events.
According to the F.B.I. there are an estimated 1.4 million
violent crimes in America each year…
The brutal events that took place there are still not entirely known.

To give credit where credit is due, THE STRANGERS ($40) is a highly suspenseful and well-crafted film. THE STRANGERS is also violent, horrifying, revolting and is certain to make its audience squirm in their seat. I really liked THE STRANGERS as a movie, but at the same time, I really hated this film because the story seems all too plausible and likely to happen in the real world. The premise of THE STRANGERS finds Kristen McKay (Liv Tyler) and James Hoyt (Scott Speedman) arriving at the Hoyt family's isolated summer home. Shortly thereafter, there is a knock at the front door; upon opening the door Kristen and James discover a young woman standing in the shadows, asking for someone who does not live there. As it turns out, the knock at the front door was just a ruse to discover if anybody was home. What follows is a night of terror, as three-masked figure play a deadly game of cat and mouse Kristen and James- terrorizing within the walls isolated summer home. The cast of THE STRANGERS also features Gemma Ward, Kip Weeks, Laura Margolis, Glenn Howerton, Alex Fisher and Peter Clayton-Luce.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has made THE STRANGERS available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. The 1080p presentation is really quite terrific considering that this modestly budgeted film is intentionally dark and is sometimes limited in shadow detail. Image sharpness, depth and fine detail are all very good, but not exemplary due to the way the film was photographed. Colors are warm, fully saturated and completely stable. Blacks are inky and whites are completely stable. Contrast is smooth. The elements from which THE STRANGERS are transferred appear virtually pristine. Grain is ever present, but it does give THE STRANGERS nice film like quality.

THE STRANGERS is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Considering the intent of the film, the soundtrack is truly quite excellent for the material, thanks to an atmospheric sound design that is unnerving, jarring and totally effective. There is a lot of subtlety to the sound design, with dead silence being utilized as a contrasting component. Of course, this being a horror movie, the discrete channels are well utilized for sound effects placement and zingers. Fidelity is quite good; plus the sound effects are weighty and totally convincing. The bottom end of the track is a surprisingly potent and adds to the unnerving quality of the track. French and Spanish DTS 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a couple of extras. The Elements Of Terror is a nine-minute Featurette that offers the usual complement of interviews. A couple of Deleted Scenes close out of the extras.

THE STRANGERS is the kind of horror film that certain to leave the audience squirming in their seats. The Blu-ray presentation really is great; maximizing everything that went into the production, both visually and sonically. If one finds the subject matter appealing, then the Blu-ray release of THE STRANGERS is definitely the way to go.



The Strangers [Blu-ray] (2008)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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