Sometimes you have to recognize some merit in being exceptionally crap (and without ANY redeeming feature).
From a review with which I absolutely agree:
I like watching snakes eat mice just as much as the next fella, maybe even more, but “The Strangers” turns the gobble-’em-up into an ordeal. It’s a fraud from start to finish.
In the film, three strangers in campy Halloween masks stalk and torment two handsome 30-somethings in a well-appointed summer home. The two victims are all but defenseless in the face of the assault, so they never acquire much respect from the audience; though if the movie’s a hit, you can bet Smith & Wesson’s profits go through the roof. The unfortunate couple, played by Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, are initially presented as somehow dysfunctional; they mumble morosely and act like they’ve wandered in from a Bergman movie about anomie in suburban Stockholm. Like everything else in the movie, this is never explained.
When, in the middle of the night, someone knocks on the door, domestic problems are forgotten and survival becomes an issue, though both are completely incompetent. Writer-director Bryan Bertino leaves no stone unturned in his quest for cliche and his unbelievable depictions of behavior. For the latter, try this: A fellow passing by the house has his windshield blown out by a shotgun. Does he step on the gas? Does he call the cops on his cellphone? No, he gets out of the car and walks into the house showing clear signs of violent disturbance without announcing himself. A tragedy soon follows, but not as big as the one that compelled me to sit through the whole thing.
What a wonderfully craptastic movie. If it was like the usual mediocre horror movies I wouldn’t talk about it here, but this is outrageously bad, to the point you develop some spontaneous hatred toward the director.
It starts with a mood full of unmotivated pathos even if the situation presented is conventional. You keep wondering what are the reasons behind all that but the truth is that there are no reasons, it’s just done badly. Since the beginning there’s a constant use of shaky cam even for normal dialogues, after a while you figure out that it is meant to give the impression that the protagonists are “being watched” but the effect continues to be used out of context throughout the whole movie to the point it becomes just annoying. Not only it’s a bad movie, with not even a pretense of story or internal consistence, but it is even enormously pretentious. There are no motivations gives for anything happening, the stalkers have super-powers just to excuse freaky situations (disappearing all at once) or easy ways out (dodging bullets) and everything else is smoothly driven and pre-planned as the characters move around as puppets just because the screenplay wants things happening without any effort to justify it or make it even remotely believable. It’s just for the effect as the director can’t be arsed to explain what’s happening or even make scenes consistent. Why? Just so. Edgy. Manneristic.
I blame who gave the director the money. A talentless narcissist.
I want to save some of it. To make things even worse this movie was marketed as a real story when it’s obvious while watching it that there’s nothing of it that may be even remotely true. In fact it’s not. When the director was a child someone came to his house asking for someone unknown. The day after he discovered that some houses in the neighborhood were robbed and he was deeply impressed. This is the whole “real” story.
The movie lacks any motivation and consistence because it’s the product of wild imagination. Just an elaboration of childhood nightmares that obviously don’t need justifications but that are actually more disturbing because of the lack of them. The movie is, simply put, a representation and projection of irrational fears.