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The Strangers (2008) - IMDb


As our own Brian Collins has written before , Bryan Bertino's The Strangers is a perhaps underrated slasher masterpiece, and one of the absolute scariest contemporary horror films – that's an impressive and increasingly rare feat, but one that Bertino pulls off in effortlessly savage fashion.

For the unfamiliar: The Strangers centers on a couple relentlessly and eerily stalked by a trio of masked killers with no apparent motivation, resulting in an impeccably suspenseful home invasion thriller that crawls under your skin with the precision of the shiniest, sharpest knife. What makes The Strangers so effective is the cold, uncaring facelessness of the killers and the absence of motivation. Bertino understands and embraces something that most successful slashers (particularly as they become full-fledged franchises) don't: the less we know about the boogeymen, the scarier they remain.

And really, what is more terrifying than the notion of a killer or killers pursuing you with no rationality, no purpose, no clear-cut motivation? What's scarier than being pursued by faceless antagonists who have carefully planned their attack, turning your own comfort against you and transforming your home into an inescapable nightmare? The killers are insidiously cunning, undermining the notion of a safe, familiar space as Bertino seizes on the invasive notion of home invasion.

Perhaps more disquieting than The Strangers is that Bertino's film was inspired by a few real-life events. The filmmaker has cited a childhood experience where strangers knocked on his door while his parents were away, asking for someone who didn't live there. He later found out that these people were responsible for a series of break-ins and robberies. Bertino also cites the obvious reference: the Manson Family murders.

But there's one lesser-known case that inspired The Strangers , and it's far more terrifying than Bertino's film. Known as the Keddie Cabin Murders, this horrific quadruple homicide took place in California in 1981 and remains unsolved to this day. Unsolved murders are fairly common, but the sheer brutality of the case makes this one particularly unsettling, even more so when you fall down the internet rabbit hole of police and investigative reports, crime scene photos, and rumors of potential culprits.

Every couple of years I revisit the Keddie Cabin story to see if there have been any new developments, and each time I find myself just as compelled and unsettled by the intensely disturbing case.

As our own Brian Collins has written before , Bryan Bertino's The Strangers is a perhaps underrated slasher masterpiece, and one of the absolute scariest contemporary horror films – that's an impressive and increasingly rare feat, but one that Bertino pulls off in effortlessly savage fashion.

For the unfamiliar: The Strangers centers on a couple relentlessly and eerily stalked by a trio of masked killers with no apparent motivation, resulting in an impeccably suspenseful home invasion thriller that crawls under your skin with the precision of the shiniest, sharpest knife. What makes The Strangers so effective is the cold, uncaring facelessness of the killers and the absence of motivation. Bertino understands and embraces something that most successful slashers (particularly as they become full-fledged franchises) don't: the less we know about the boogeymen, the scarier they remain.

And really, what is more terrifying than the notion of a killer or killers pursuing you with no rationality, no purpose, no clear-cut motivation? What's scarier than being pursued by faceless antagonists who have carefully planned their attack, turning your own comfort against you and transforming your home into an inescapable nightmare? The killers are insidiously cunning, undermining the notion of a safe, familiar space as Bertino seizes on the invasive notion of home invasion.

Perhaps more disquieting than The Strangers is that Bertino's film was inspired by a few real-life events. The filmmaker has cited a childhood experience where strangers knocked on his door while his parents were away, asking for someone who didn't live there. He later found out that these people were responsible for a series of break-ins and robberies. Bertino also cites the obvious reference: the Manson Family murders.

But there's one lesser-known case that inspired The Strangers , and it's far more terrifying than Bertino's film. Known as the Keddie Cabin Murders, this horrific quadruple homicide took place in California in 1981 and remains unsolved to this day. Unsolved murders are fairly common, but the sheer brutality of the case makes this one particularly unsettling, even more so when you fall down the internet rabbit hole of police and investigative reports, crime scene photos, and rumors of potential culprits.

Every couple of years I revisit the Keddie Cabin story to see if there have been any new developments, and each time I find myself just as compelled and unsettled by the intensely disturbing case.

After moving to New York City at 18 years old, Meredith Hagner has been busy working her way from one-time soap actress on As the World Turns --  which, after all, is where Julianne Moore got started -- to one of 2017’s breakouts. As star of the TBS dark comedy series, Search Party , and Facebook’s first scripted series, Strangers , and a recurring role on Younger ’s fourth (and highest-rated) season , one could argue the actress is something of a millennial TV “It Girl.”

In fact, Strangers , which is now streaming in full on Facebook’s original video content platform, Watch, is very much a show about what’s happening now. Loosely inspired by creator Mia Lidofsky’s experiences of renting out her NYC apartment on Airbnb, the dramedy tells the emotional, sexual and professional adventures of two friends, Isobel (Zoe Chao) and Cam (Hagner), whose lives are impacted by the rotation of eccentric guests staying in their spare room. 

“Mia’s story deals with sexuality, gender and identity,” Hagner says, revealing she’s close friends with the filmmaker who serves as inspiration for Cam and gave the actress the opportunity to play someone that she says she might not traditionally be cast as. “Mia is able to see beyond certain things and give me this opportunity.”

On the show, Cam is forced to deal with buried resentments in her friendship with Isobel as a move across the country looms. In all the chaos of growing up, there’s a coolness often reflected in Cam’s demeanor and style. “It’s really refreshing to play someone who is so themselves and so firm in their core of beliefs. It’s fun to play the character who knows what they want and how to get it,” Hagner says.

The character is also a complete 180 degrees from Portia on Search Party , which returns for a second season on Nov. 19. A partying Brooklynite and struggling actress desperately seeking attention and fame, she’s a quintessential narcissist -- but somehow still lovable. During the show’s first season about Dory’s ( Alia Shawkat ) quest to find out what happened to Chantal (Clare McNulty), Portia gets caught up in the thrill of the search even as her brush with stardom on a scripted detective series is cut short.

“I don’t know how much natural ability she does have,” Hagner says of Portia, who, like the rest of the group is reeling from the shocking end to their hunt to find Chantal, “but on season two, she goes through a deep, dark struggle and finds this catharsis in a performance and ends up being really good.” 

Фарго (1996)
# 161 on IMDb Top Rated Movies »

Ryan Gosling »
# 133 on STARmeter

When the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of the victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back.

A married couple becomes stranded at an isolated motel and finds hidden video cameras in their room. They soon realize that unless they escape, they'll be the next victims of a snuff film.

After kidnapping and brutally assaulting two young women, a gang unknowingly finds refuge at a vacation home belonging to the parents of one of the victims: a mother and father who devise an increasingly gruesome series of revenge tactics.

A suburban American family is being stalked by a group of psychotic people who live in the desert, far away from civilization.

Just a quick heads up: There are some seriously NSFW images in the article below. If you don’t want to see pictures from a real life murder, you might want to not scroll down.

Have you ever decided to stay at home and just relax with your honey? Well, after reading this article you might feel like going out more often instead of repeatedly chillaxing in your little kingdom.

You’ve probably heard about The Strangers. The horror flick about a young couple in a remote vacation house that is being terrorized by some strangers. A true home invasion terror that shocked audiences back in 2008. But what you might not have known is that The Strangers was based off a very true story. Fine, fine, I’ll admit that it’s a bit of a stretch – but one thing is certain: it was definitely inspired by very true and very horrific events. Let’s take a look.

The first inspiration for the director Bryan Bertino was a childhood experience that he explains right in The Strangers production notes :

“As a kid, I lived in a house on a street in the middle of nowhere. One night, while our parents were out, somebody knocked on the front door and my little sister answered it. At the door were some people asking for somebody who didn’t live there. We later found out that these people were knocking on doors on the area and, if no one was home, breaking into the houses”

That’s spooky enough, especially as little kid but further inspiration came later. You probably are more familiar with this one. The idea that helped spark The Strangers came from when Bertino read the true crime book “Helter Skelter” written by Vincent Bugliosi (who served as the prosecutor in the 1970 trial of Charles Manson) and Kurt Gentry, where two of the most appalling “Manson Family” murders occurred. Upon looking at this stuff, it is pretty obvious that one of those two cases has similarities with The Strangers plot.

As our own Brian Collins has written before , Bryan Bertino's The Strangers is a perhaps underrated slasher masterpiece, and one of the absolute scariest contemporary horror films – that's an impressive and increasingly rare feat, but one that Bertino pulls off in effortlessly savage fashion.

For the unfamiliar: The Strangers centers on a couple relentlessly and eerily stalked by a trio of masked killers with no apparent motivation, resulting in an impeccably suspenseful home invasion thriller that crawls under your skin with the precision of the shiniest, sharpest knife. What makes The Strangers so effective is the cold, uncaring facelessness of the killers and the absence of motivation. Bertino understands and embraces something that most successful slashers (particularly as they become full-fledged franchises) don't: the less we know about the boogeymen, the scarier they remain.

And really, what is more terrifying than the notion of a killer or killers pursuing you with no rationality, no purpose, no clear-cut motivation? What's scarier than being pursued by faceless antagonists who have carefully planned their attack, turning your own comfort against you and transforming your home into an inescapable nightmare? The killers are insidiously cunning, undermining the notion of a safe, familiar space as Bertino seizes on the invasive notion of home invasion.

Perhaps more disquieting than The Strangers is that Bertino's film was inspired by a few real-life events. The filmmaker has cited a childhood experience where strangers knocked on his door while his parents were away, asking for someone who didn't live there. He later found out that these people were responsible for a series of break-ins and robberies. Bertino also cites the obvious reference: the Manson Family murders.

But there's one lesser-known case that inspired The Strangers , and it's far more terrifying than Bertino's film. Known as the Keddie Cabin Murders, this horrific quadruple homicide took place in California in 1981 and remains unsolved to this day. Unsolved murders are fairly common, but the sheer brutality of the case makes this one particularly unsettling, even more so when you fall down the internet rabbit hole of police and investigative reports, crime scene photos, and rumors of potential culprits.

Every couple of years I revisit the Keddie Cabin story to see if there have been any new developments, and each time I find myself just as compelled and unsettled by the intensely disturbing case.

After moving to New York City at 18 years old, Meredith Hagner has been busy working her way from one-time soap actress on As the World Turns --  which, after all, is where Julianne Moore got started -- to one of 2017’s breakouts. As star of the TBS dark comedy series, Search Party , and Facebook’s first scripted series, Strangers , and a recurring role on Younger ’s fourth (and highest-rated) season , one could argue the actress is something of a millennial TV “It Girl.”

In fact, Strangers , which is now streaming in full on Facebook’s original video content platform, Watch, is very much a show about what’s happening now. Loosely inspired by creator Mia Lidofsky’s experiences of renting out her NYC apartment on Airbnb, the dramedy tells the emotional, sexual and professional adventures of two friends, Isobel (Zoe Chao) and Cam (Hagner), whose lives are impacted by the rotation of eccentric guests staying in their spare room. 

“Mia’s story deals with sexuality, gender and identity,” Hagner says, revealing she’s close friends with the filmmaker who serves as inspiration for Cam and gave the actress the opportunity to play someone that she says she might not traditionally be cast as. “Mia is able to see beyond certain things and give me this opportunity.”

On the show, Cam is forced to deal with buried resentments in her friendship with Isobel as a move across the country looms. In all the chaos of growing up, there’s a coolness often reflected in Cam’s demeanor and style. “It’s really refreshing to play someone who is so themselves and so firm in their core of beliefs. It’s fun to play the character who knows what they want and how to get it,” Hagner says.

The character is also a complete 180 degrees from Portia on Search Party , which returns for a second season on Nov. 19. A partying Brooklynite and struggling actress desperately seeking attention and fame, she’s a quintessential narcissist -- but somehow still lovable. During the show’s first season about Dory’s ( Alia Shawkat ) quest to find out what happened to Chantal (Clare McNulty), Portia gets caught up in the thrill of the search even as her brush with stardom on a scripted detective series is cut short.

“I don’t know how much natural ability she does have,” Hagner says of Portia, who, like the rest of the group is reeling from the shocking end to their hunt to find Chantal, “but on season two, she goes through a deep, dark struggle and finds this catharsis in a performance and ends up being really good.” 

Фарго (1996)
# 161 on IMDb Top Rated Movies »

Ryan Gosling »
# 133 on STARmeter

When the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of the victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back.

A married couple becomes stranded at an isolated motel and finds hidden video cameras in their room. They soon realize that unless they escape, they'll be the next victims of a snuff film.

After kidnapping and brutally assaulting two young women, a gang unknowingly finds refuge at a vacation home belonging to the parents of one of the victims: a mother and father who devise an increasingly gruesome series of revenge tactics.

A suburban American family is being stalked by a group of psychotic people who live in the desert, far away from civilization.

As our own Brian Collins has written before , Bryan Bertino's The Strangers is a perhaps underrated slasher masterpiece, and one of the absolute scariest contemporary horror films – that's an impressive and increasingly rare feat, but one that Bertino pulls off in effortlessly savage fashion.

For the unfamiliar: The Strangers centers on a couple relentlessly and eerily stalked by a trio of masked killers with no apparent motivation, resulting in an impeccably suspenseful home invasion thriller that crawls under your skin with the precision of the shiniest, sharpest knife. What makes The Strangers so effective is the cold, uncaring facelessness of the killers and the absence of motivation. Bertino understands and embraces something that most successful slashers (particularly as they become full-fledged franchises) don't: the less we know about the boogeymen, the scarier they remain.

And really, what is more terrifying than the notion of a killer or killers pursuing you with no rationality, no purpose, no clear-cut motivation? What's scarier than being pursued by faceless antagonists who have carefully planned their attack, turning your own comfort against you and transforming your home into an inescapable nightmare? The killers are insidiously cunning, undermining the notion of a safe, familiar space as Bertino seizes on the invasive notion of home invasion.

Perhaps more disquieting than The Strangers is that Bertino's film was inspired by a few real-life events. The filmmaker has cited a childhood experience where strangers knocked on his door while his parents were away, asking for someone who didn't live there. He later found out that these people were responsible for a series of break-ins and robberies. Bertino also cites the obvious reference: the Manson Family murders.

But there's one lesser-known case that inspired The Strangers , and it's far more terrifying than Bertino's film. Known as the Keddie Cabin Murders, this horrific quadruple homicide took place in California in 1981 and remains unsolved to this day. Unsolved murders are fairly common, but the sheer brutality of the case makes this one particularly unsettling, even more so when you fall down the internet rabbit hole of police and investigative reports, crime scene photos, and rumors of potential culprits.

Every couple of years I revisit the Keddie Cabin story to see if there have been any new developments, and each time I find myself just as compelled and unsettled by the intensely disturbing case.

After moving to New York City at 18 years old, Meredith Hagner has been busy working her way from one-time soap actress on As the World Turns --  which, after all, is where Julianne Moore got started -- to one of 2017’s breakouts. As star of the TBS dark comedy series, Search Party , and Facebook’s first scripted series, Strangers , and a recurring role on Younger ’s fourth (and highest-rated) season , one could argue the actress is something of a millennial TV “It Girl.”

In fact, Strangers , which is now streaming in full on Facebook’s original video content platform, Watch, is very much a show about what’s happening now. Loosely inspired by creator Mia Lidofsky’s experiences of renting out her NYC apartment on Airbnb, the dramedy tells the emotional, sexual and professional adventures of two friends, Isobel (Zoe Chao) and Cam (Hagner), whose lives are impacted by the rotation of eccentric guests staying in their spare room. 

“Mia’s story deals with sexuality, gender and identity,” Hagner says, revealing she’s close friends with the filmmaker who serves as inspiration for Cam and gave the actress the opportunity to play someone that she says she might not traditionally be cast as. “Mia is able to see beyond certain things and give me this opportunity.”

On the show, Cam is forced to deal with buried resentments in her friendship with Isobel as a move across the country looms. In all the chaos of growing up, there’s a coolness often reflected in Cam’s demeanor and style. “It’s really refreshing to play someone who is so themselves and so firm in their core of beliefs. It’s fun to play the character who knows what they want and how to get it,” Hagner says.

The character is also a complete 180 degrees from Portia on Search Party , which returns for a second season on Nov. 19. A partying Brooklynite and struggling actress desperately seeking attention and fame, she’s a quintessential narcissist -- but somehow still lovable. During the show’s first season about Dory’s ( Alia Shawkat ) quest to find out what happened to Chantal (Clare McNulty), Portia gets caught up in the thrill of the search even as her brush with stardom on a scripted detective series is cut short.

“I don’t know how much natural ability she does have,” Hagner says of Portia, who, like the rest of the group is reeling from the shocking end to their hunt to find Chantal, “but on season two, she goes through a deep, dark struggle and finds this catharsis in a performance and ends up being really good.” 


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