You know where all the psychopathic killers of the world are? They hang out around cabins in the woods and, like in The Strangers, around summer homes in the country. This is why I only vacation in big cities, where the only thing I have to worry about are your everyday garden-variety muggers and not people with burlap sack masks over their heads and axes in their hands.
The Strangers has its share of good scares (I don't think I've ever heard so many terrified girls screaming repeatedly in a theater), but it's the movie's expertly taut atmosphere and its unrelenting commitment to dread that makes it deeply, deeply unsettling. You see, first-time filmmaker Bryan Bertino (someone give that man a cigar or a blow job or some kind of reward) eschews such pesky cinematic notions as plot and character, opting instead for a simple structure (our two lone heroes fend against three bloodthirsty motherfuckers in the middle of nowhere) and sticking to that with an obsessive glee. Sick bastard.