Possibly the “buzziest” horror movie of the year, The Strangers was a box office Grand Slam. The films initial trailer was disturbing and intriguing, though I wanted to see this in the theatre, I held off till it hit DVD. I let the buzz die down and went in with a tiny bit of expectation. I was not disappointed. It was a calculated character piece that carefully and slowly stepped toward its inevitable conclusion. For the most part, the characters James Hoyt and Kristen McKay (played by Scott Speedman and Liv Tyler, respectively) do not make any stupid choices; they rarely fall into the usual stereotypes, which is what makes this movie much more moving than films of the same ilk. The scares and horror of the film are delivered using tension, timing, and sound instead of cheap cuts and quick editing and loud noises. The Strangers uses subtleties often missing in much of modern cinema fare, like character development, symbolism, and conventional filmmaking. This is how to make a horror movie; it’s almost a textbook for aspiring filmmakers. While I loved the movie it was nothing new, or original, which is fine, I wasn’t looking for that, I was looking for a scare and it gave me one. I was looking for creepy cold-hearted villains and this had three of them.