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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Stranger Danger

The Strangers: Chapter 1 on IMDb

Plot Overview

vigilant kidAfter a somber text by the FBI warning us about violence rife in America, we are introduced to one of its most gruesome instances. Maya (Madelaine Petsch) a New York yuppie is motoring cross country with Ryan (Froy Gutierrez) her boy­friend of five years. She's to have her final job inter­view in Port­land. They're taking a scenic route through Oregon's forests to get the lay of the land. Oregon has diverse recreational offerings, not the least of which is its hiking trails they pass now some 300 miles out from Pdx.

house on a hillTheir car develops engine trouble at a diner in Venus and it'll take a day to get a new alternator from the dealer in Eugene. The hotel is under­going reno­vations in the off season, so they spend the night at one Bob's Airbnb. The natives are friendly in Oregon and Maya responds in kind but Ryan maintains his New York stand­offishness.

clown maskThey become subject to a home invasion by masked figures Scarecrow (Matus Lajcak), Dollface (Kreutzova), and Pin-Up (Letizia Fabbri.) Judging from the history of missing persons in the area, it is unlikely they will survive.


Eugene—where I live—is located in the Willamette Valley subject to air stagnation from trapped air flow. The Indians called it the Valley of Sickness on account of respiratory illnesses. Venus is well above all that, but our happy couple is to be descending into it soon enough. Ryan has breathing difficulties necessitating an inhaler. It was a good idea for Maya to check out the livability of an area before moving there.

happy hugHer good business sense did not carry over to her relationship. After five years of going steady, the subject of marriage has just come up (“Put a ring on that girl.”) But although they are very familiar with each other physically, their general knowledge leaves a lot to be desired. He likes the freedom of motor­cycling on the open road, but she doesn't even know he rides. Her freedom is choice weed—legal in Oregon—but he doesn't realize how addicted she is. Church literature is handed them, the distributors saying, “The Lord will set you free.”

Hollywood films are largely the product of pagans, as intimated in a Christopher Bram book:
plumberYou must understand how Hollywood was … Nobody cared a tinker's cuss who slept with whom as long as you kept it out of the papers. And that was true only for the stars. A character actor? A writer? A director? To care about our behavior was like worrying over the morals of a plumber before letting him mend your pipes. (40)

This care less attitude is reflected in the easy virtue of the characters in films. It's as (Prov. 30:20) “Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.” There is in fact a scene in which Maya wipes off the face of Ryan a messy eater. Sex offenders cover up their trans­gressions and get on with their lives. Unlike adulterers these two have the option of marrying to make their sex legit. How­ever, a near miss on the high­way and now some masked stalkers put them in touch with their mortality, that their delay in getting hitched might put them in jeopardy at the final judgment. God seems to have checked in even in Oregon the most unchurched state in the lower forty-eight. As Bram puts it:

A finished [motion] picture is as seamless as a completed jigsaw puzzle. You forget the anxiety and excitement of finding each piece. The puzzle has a life of its own, as if it had been assembled by some­body else. (131)

It's not as if the writer, director and actors were such paragons of virtue that they included a telling object lesson about sex before marriage, but there were other forces at work.

Production Values

” (2024) was directed by Renny Harlin. It was written by Alan R. Cohen and Alan Freedland to be completed by two more parts of a trilogy. It stars Madelaine Petsch and Froy Gutierrez. Their performances while not award-winning were fun to watch.

MPA rated it R for horror violence, language and brief drug use. The directing, editing, and scoring earn top marks. The cinema­tog­raphy, camera angles and lighting were just fine. The sound­track was A-okay. It has a running time of 1 hour 31 minutes.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

Oregon's economy, residents and landscape were all portrayed positively. Their religious expressions were tempered with courtesy. The stranger danger was realistically presented as a society-wide problem. I'd move here if I hadn't already though I lock my doors at night.

There's lots of good frights and tension in this picture, much of it borrowed from other movies. Its mid-credits ending leaves room for a sequel or two, which we expect. This one will work its horror as good as most and better than some. Enjoy!

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is taken from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Bram, Christopher. Father of Frankenstein. Copyright © Christopher Bram, 1995. New York: Dutton, 1995. Print.