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The Strangers Chapter 1: A New Take On A Cult Classic

Credit: Youtube/ Lionsgate Movies

The Strangers Chapter 1 has dominated box-office sales and has become a new horror classic. As it prepares for VOD and home release, audiences are still raving about the soon-to-be trilogy of films. Further debate is taking place comparing the 2008 original to the 2024 release.

What is the Strangers Chapter 1?

The Strangers Chapter 1 is the third film instillation of the Strangers trilogy. The first Strangers film was released in 2008 and debuted the three masked assailants that the newest sequel follows. The new trilogy of films is not a remake of the original, but rather a reimagining. Director Renny Harlin explained how he wanted to honour the original film, but expand upon the unexplored questions within his adaptation.

“I, as a fan of the original film, I wanted something that feels familiar, feels, truthful to the original. And then we obviously, we made a second movie and a third movie at the same time because we wanted to explore the reasons behind this.”

Spencer Perry

How Does it Live up to the Original?

Madelaine Petsch as Maya in The Strangers - Chapter 1
Madelaine Petsch as Maya in The Strangers – Chapter 1. Photo Credit: John Armour

Both the original film and the recent release centre around a young couple who are terrorised by three unidentified attackers while vacationing in a remote house. The latest installment has many similarities to the original, yet offers difference in its storytelling approach.

Similarity- Is Tamara Home?

Both films show the masked killers taunt the couples by asking ‘Is Tamara Home’. Although the films never identified who Tamara was, The identity of who the masked killers are in the Strangers universe will be revealed in the trilogy. This implies that Tamara’s identity will ultimately be disclosed in the movie.

Similarity- Final Girl Survivor

The original Strangers film indicates Kristen survives the attack, unlike her partner James. Similarily, Maya is shown to survive the attack within the ending of Chapter 1 as she is depicted in a hospital bed. This suggests, Chapter 2 & 3 will incorporate Maya and her survival journey.

Difference- Worldbuilding

Unlike the original Strangers, Chapter explores the relationship between Maya and Ryan in detail. Through establishing their strong connection and their upcoming engagement, the latest instillation weaves in paticular narrative features that audiences will recognise and be able to explore in Chapter 2 and 3.

Who Stars in The Strangers Chapter 1?

Froy Gutierrez and Madelaine Petsch in the Strangers Chapter 1
Credit: Lionsgate

The Strangers Chapter 1 garnered widespread attention and popularity due to the casting of Madelaine Petsch, with her strong presence on social media, and her long-term role of Cheryl Blossom in Riverdale, Petsch was crucial in drawing upon a new fan base for the horror genre.

“When I spoke with Madelaine I just knew that she was an exceptional person, exceptional actor, and that’s what it took to play this part.”

Clark Collis

Froy Gutierrez plays Maya’s partner, Ryan. Gutierrez has previously starred in Teen Wolf and Hocus Pocus 2.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has played a critical factor in the success of the film. Madeleine Petsch who plays Maya, utilised her 1.7m TikTok following to market the film.

@madelame

THE STRANGERS CHAPTER ONE IN THEATERS NOW GET YOUR TICKETS 🫣

♬ original sound – ✿
Credit: TikTok/@madelame
@madelame

THE STRANGERS IN THEATERS THIS FRIDAY 🤪🫶🪓🩶

♬ Absolutely Not Between Us Girlies – Between Us Girlies
Credit: TikTok/@madelame

The Strangers official Instagram page released a ring doorbell video, featuring the 3 masked assilants approaching a home. Lionsgate also organised wood cabin pop-up’s similiar to the home featured in the film, where fans were placed inside and faced the wrath of actors playing the masked assilants.

The Strangers Trilogy: Chapter 2 and 3

Fans of The Strangers Chapter 1 are in luck as two follow-up films have already been filmed and scheduled for release. Chapter 2 will be released in late 2024, with Chapter 3 scheduled for early 2025 release. Although Chapter 1 introduced us to the masked killers, director Renny Harlin noted the trilogy will aim to delve further into these killers’ deranged thoughts and identities.

“There’s no rhyme or reason. They are just sadistically playing cat and mouse with these victims and ultimately just kill them and walk away. We all are accustomed to expecting that everything is explained, and there’s a nice little end to every story. And there that’s why it was so powerful because it showed the randomness of life. We wanted to explore these certain themes of, what is this all about? What makes these killers stick? What happens to the victims?”

Joe Deckelmeier and Caitlin Tyrrell

Audience Impressions

Despite the film having the highest opening weekend of $11.8 million at the US box office for a horror film of 2024. Audienes and critics have criticsed the film in comparison to the original.

The Guardian Critic Benjamin Lee argued

“The Strangers Chapter 1 is an early contender for 2024’s most pointless horror movie. It’s the third in a series that should have stopped after one, a reboot that’s more of a remake but sold as a prequel while also acting as the start of a new trilogy, an over-complicated attempt to squeeze new life out of old IP”.

Benjamin Lee

Audiences can see for themselves what the triology will add to the existing stories in late 2024 and early 2025 with the release of The Strangers Chapter 2 and The Strangers Chapter 3.

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Hello! My name is Rachel, I'm from Manchester and I'm a Journalism student at Cardiff University! I love writing anything related to popular culture and entertainment.

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