Director: Bryan Bertino
Cast: Scott Speedman, Liv Tyler, Kip Weeks
Release Date: March 6, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Explore your worst fears with this shocking suspense thriller inspired by disturbing true events. After a 4 a.m. knock at the door and a haunting voice, Kristen McKay (Liv Tyler, The Leftovers) and James Hoyt (Scott Speedman, Underworld) find that their remote getaway becomes a night of psychological terror as three masked strangers invade. Faced with inscrutable tormentors, Kristen and James must go beyond what they think they’re able to endure if they have any hope to survive.
The terrifying home invasion thriller ‘The Strangers’ accompanies young, troubled couple James Hoyt (Speedman) and Kristen McKay (Tyler) who find themselves being harassed at their remote getaway home by a trio of masked strangers after answering an odd knock on the door in the middle of the night which quickly escalates to a fight for survival once the strangers invade their house, with nothing but nature and uncertainty surrounding them. ‘The Strangers’ is a tense, unnerving and powerful home invasion film that has gained a true cult following and still holds its own after ten years; now available in a new 2-disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release from the Shout Factory imprint label Scream Factory and featuring new HD masters of both cuts of the film, in addition to brand new extras and more.
Written and directed by Bryan Bertino (The Monster, Mockingbird) and starring a solid, limited cast led by Scott Speedman (Underworld, TV’s Animal Kingdom) and Liv Tyler (the Lord of the Rings, TV’s The Leftovers), ‘The Strangers’ was originally unleashed upon moviegoers in May of 2008 and still holds up remarkably well nearly a decade later. A truly tense, unsettling and gorgeous home-invasion thriller that’s unlikely to be forgotten anytime soon (especially with the long awaited follow-up ‘The Strangers: Prey at Night’ arriving in theaters this month), genre fans who haven’t previously had the pleasure of Bertino’s impressive thriller may want to finally make a point of giving it a whirl. Odds are you won’t be disappointed with this eerie and cleverly crafted, slow burn horror flick. Diehard fans of ‘The Strangers will also want to at least consider picking up a copy of Scream Factory’s new 2-Disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release. The release offers brand new HD masters of both the Theatrical and Unrated versions of the film (each also on separate discs for optimum quality) accompanied by a pretty decent collection of bonus content including some brand new extras created specifically for this release such as a new ‘Interview with Writer/Director Bryan Bertino’ and more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) which altogether is certain to make this new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release from Shout/Scream Factory a must own for at least a handful of the movie’s hardcore fans.
Overall, Scream Factory’s new 2-disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of ‘The Strangers’ brings the terrifying home invasion thriller home in a snazzy new release (and perfectly timed with the new film hitting theaters this weekend) that offers fans both the Theatrical and Unrated versions of the film, each with new HD masters taken from the 2K Intermediate and showcasing overall impressive high definition video and audio presentations, as well as providing separate discs for each cut in order to ensure maximum quality. Add to that a pretty solid collection of supplemental material including some brand new extras exclusive to this release, along with some new artwork and the end result is a new 2-disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray of the fan favorite thriller that hardcore fans of the film will definitely want to at least consider adding to their collection.
The Scream Factory Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of ‘The Strangers’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation of both the Theatrical Cut and the Unrated Cut, each sporting new HD masters from the 2K Digital Intermediate (with the Unrated cut also noting HD Inserts) and utilizing the film’s original 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentations for each cut are nearly identical with the exception of the one additional scene included in the Unrated Cut which still looks pretty great. Scream Factory provides a new clean, sharp and smooth high definition master that looks consistently great and suffers no notable faults throughout. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit sequences and never allows anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, these are quite fantastic new high definition video presentations that should easily thrill fans of this memorable home invasion thriller.
The Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on both versions of the film. This lossless multichannel soundtrack offers a crisp, clean and fairly immersive audio presentation throughout. It takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send the score, along with eerie effects, nature elements and more throughout the various speakers when appropriate, and never causing any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a great 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that compliments the film perfectly and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Scream Factory Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of ‘The Strangers’ includes a number of noteworthy extras featuring some brand new supplements created specifically for this release that many fans of the film should appreciate. As some bonus content is included on each disc, I’ll break down the extras by disc below for the sake of simplicity.
Disc One (aka the ‘Theatrical Version’ disc) includes a couple of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 5 minutes in length combined), in addition to two Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include behind the scenes footage and interviews/comments with the cast and crew: ‘The Element of Terror – Interviews with the Cast and Crew’ (running approximately 9 minutes) and ‘Strangers At The Door’ (approximately 10 minutes). The ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (1 minute) and 3 ‘TV Spots’ (90 seconds altogether) for the film are also included.
Disc Two (aka the ‘Unrated Version’ disc) includes a number of new interviews with members of the cast and crew that were created specifically for this release. The included interviews are: ‘Defining Moments: An Interview with Writer/Director Bryan Bertino’ (running approximately 30 minutes), ‘All the Right Moves: An Interviews with Actor Kip Weeks (The Man in the Mask)’ (approximately 12 minutes), ‘Brains and Brawn: An Interview with Actress Laura Margolis (Pin up Girl)’ and ‘Deep Cuts: Kevin Greuert on Editing The Strangers’ (20 minutes). A ‘Still Gallery’ is also included on the disc.