'The Strangers: Chapter 1' Movie Review: New Trilogy Off To A Weak Start

Froy Gutierrez and Madelaine Petsch in The Strangers Chapter1 

If the plot of THE STRANGERS: CHAPTER 1 seems familiar, it is. Based on the 2008 film by writer/director Bryan Bertino, this new reiteration is the third in the horror franchise. This new iteration doesn't offer much in reinventing the horror franchise, and two more are planned for a trilogy.

Directed by veteran filmmaker Renny Harlin (THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT, CLIFFHANGER), a young couple (Madelaine Petsch, Froy Gutierrez) are trapped in a small town after their car breaks down. While staying at a remote cabin, the two are terrorized by three masked strangers.

THE STRANGERS: CHAPTER 1 is a bland entry in the horror genre. With a predictable plot and uninteresting characters, the first installment in the upcoming trilogy lacks scary moments and tension. The tense scenes are saved until the third act. Even at 91 minutes, CHAPTER 1 drags.

Madelaine Petsch (Riverdale) and Froy Gutierrez (Teen Wolf) are not given much to work with. The leads lack charisma and are rather annoying as big city slickers in a small town.

The 2008 and 2018 films earned a combined $113 million globally (source: Box Office Mojo) which is not considered a breakout hit unless the budget was meager to turn a profit. The killings from the previous movies are referenced briefly.


The first entry in this new trilogy doesn't inspire much hope for the next two entries unless the filmmakers change up the formula. That might be the case since one surviving character played by Madelaine Petsch is listed on IMDB as a recurring character in the trilogy.

The Strangers Chapter 1 movie villains

THE STRANGER masked villains are no Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers. Those iconic killers have a personal history which these three random killers lack. There is no motive for their stalking and killing outsiders. Perhaps that is why the two other films didn't reach pop culture status, and now the producers behind the remakes are attempting to make it happen again. Good luck with that!

THE STRANGERS: CHAPTER 1 is now playing in movie theaters.


Madelaine Petsch, Froy Gutierrez

Renny Harlin

Alan R. Cohen & Alan Freedland

Bryan Bertino

The Strangers written by Bryan Bertino
Courtney Solomon, Mark Canton, Christopher Milburn, Gary Raskin, Alastair Burlingham, Charlie Dombek

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