October 2, 2012

The 31 Days of Horror, Day Two- The Strangers vs. Them

Them (Ils) came first in 2006, and then a few years later, we had The Strangers in 2008. Them is a French flick, The Strangers is American. Both flicks are about couples in their lonely, isolated country homes, who are terrorized by groups of masked assailants in the middle of the night, "just because." Both involve a catchy little quip at the end, offering us vague explanations for the killer's actions: "they wouldn't play with us" vs. "because you were home."

So it's quite possible that The Strangers kinda ripped Them off a little bit. Probable even.

Them (OUR REVIEW HERE)  is probably the better of the two flicks. It's a bit more sparse, the couple isn't as stupid as the one in The Strangers, and it covers more ground. In Them, we actually find out a little bit about who "Them" are, and it just serves to make it a all that much creepier. Those damn noisemakers!

Them also ends up being a little more straightforward of the  two flicks; the focus of Them is the couple surviving their assailants, without the emotional melodrama of The Strangers. Yes, one of these flicks involves some schmaltzy romance B.S. and one doesn't. Them is also very light on the blood and gore, but heavy on the tension.

This being an example of the aforementioned tension.

The Strangers (OUR REVIEW HERE) is good too, but it's a bit more frustrating. In The Strangers, the characters just do some stupid shit. A creepy girl shows up at 4 a.m., disables your porch light, knocks on the door and asks is Miranda home in a creepy voice, and you decide to leave your distraught girlfriend alone while you run to the store for cigarettes? Come on.

There's more, but we're not here to bitch. Despite its annoyances, The Strangers is a creepy and unsettling little flick, and is sure to make you jump the next time someone knocks at your door at 4 A.M. Not that you need a movie to tell you that's creepy, but it adds to the effect.

We loved how the killers remain ambiguous throughout, and we never see their faces or find out  why they're doing what they're doing, aside from "because you were home." Good stuff. Oh, and the scene towards the end where two characters are tied up in chairs... wow.

Subtlety is the key in this movie.

So which of these twin movies is better? For our money it's Them (Ils), but they are both very creepy and very effective flicks. Watch them both together, and decide which one made you piss yourself the most on your own. Especially if you live in the country, and get random passer's-by at odd hours of the day and night. In that case, these movies are perfect for you. Who needs sleep anyway?

Creepy bitch.

1 comment :

  1. I agree with your assessment.
    Both are quality flicks. Both are suspenseful and creepy.
    But Ils gets the nod in a showdown. I found it more terrifying.