The director of the upcoming sequel to 2008s The Strangers, starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, spoke recently on the influences he’s trying to capture for the second film in the series, and one of those is John Carpenter of The Thing, They Live and Halloween, or as you might summarize, some of the best science fiction and horror to come out of the 1980s. Johannes Roberts, the aforementioned director, had this to say to Dread Central regarding who has influenced him the most, and what to expect from the sequel:
“It’s going to be great, I hope. I’m in week two of filming. It’s Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison, Lewis Pullman … It looks absolutely incredible. I love Bertino’s film, I think it’s an amazing movie and tonally this movie is going to fit very well into that universe. It has a real strong emotional heart, which the first one did, and it has a very cool retro feel to it, a lot of sort of references to… I mean, I always bring a lot of John Carpenter with me because that’s what I grew up on, but also maybe going back a bit earlier to the seventies movies, from Don’t Look Now to Duel, the Spielberg movie, even Christine a bit, the John Carpenter movie. All of these influences are finding their way into the movie, but I think it’s going to be a real fantastic movie. I’m super excited about it.”
My take: the original was supposedly based on a true story, although I don’t know how much is canon. I suspect it’s a bit of urban legend mixed in with Helter Skelter with perhaps an event that triggered the inspiration for the film, but I seriously doubt anyone’s home was invaded by knife-wielding masked villains. I doubt anyone was tied down and murdered. That’s what I recall of the film, anyway. Not a terrible horror flick, but it didn’t seem to make much sense to me. Some people are randomly terrorized for no real reason, and then they’re stabbed. If that’s what happened. Like I said, it’s been a while since I’ve seen the film. Regardless, it sounds more like what happens in Los Angeles and Florida than flyover country, but that’s the perverse big-city bias of Hollywood, I guess.