There is No Small Town Hospitality on Display in the First Trailer for ‘The Strangers: Chapter 1’

Evil has an infinite number of faces when it comes to the horror genre. Burned and scarred like Freddy, masked and featureless like Michael Myers, or even straight up demonic like Pazuzu (The Exorcist). All of these are unsettling at a minimum and downright terrifying at their worst, we expect ugliness to accompany evil.

Maybe that’s why The Strangers was such a surprise hit when it came out way back in 2008, because it brought to the wide world the idea that the most depraved evil can live in anyone….even your neighbors or the person you walk by in the grocery store. More importantly it hammered home the idea that evil can be totally random and nonsensical, you don’t need to be a promiscuous teenager or a bad person to invite it, sometimes you just need to be home. There are few lines in horror movies that have resonated with audiences as much as a defeated and broken Liv Tyler shouting “Why are you doing this?!?” only for her assailant to respond with, “Because you were home”.

The Strangers: Chapter 1 is the first film in a planned trilogy from director Renny Harlin (The Long Kiss GoodnightCliffhanger) starring Riverdale‘s Madeline Petsch and Gabriel Brasso. When the couple’s car breaks down in a remote, backwoods town they are forced to spend what they think will be a romantic, if unplanned, night in a quaint AirBnB. If the trailer is to be believed, their spider-senses should have started tingling right away. The whole gang is here, from creepy kids to townies giving dirty looks.

Usually, with films like this, you can get a pretty good feeling from the trailer as to how good the final product is going to be. Personally I get the feeling this is going to be a relentless, brutal start to a trilogy that’s sure to make folks think twice before booking that isolated mountaintop retreat with their paramour.

The Strangers: Chapter 1 hits theaters on May 17th, 2024

Official Synopsis:
A young couple drive cross-country toward a new beginning; unfortunately they have no choice but to stop in a secluded Airbnb in Oregon–and endure a night of terror against three masked strangers.