Is Tamara Home? — ‘The Strangers’ Trilogy Will Reveal Who Tamara Is

The upcoming trilogy is described as an “homage” to The Strangers (2008), and it will feature a character driven story with plenty of surprises.

The Strangers: Chapter 1 is in theaters beginning May 17, 2024.

On May 6th, an exclusive from Variety revealed some tantalizing new teases about The Strangers trilogy beginning this year.

One of the most interesting facts revealed is that the three-part story is considered an “homage” to the 2008 original which starred Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman. Previously, certain articles described The Strangers: Chapter 1 as a prequel to the original (which the text in the trailer seems to support), while others referred to the new series of films as a standalone trilogy. Though both of those statements could be true, it’s likely that neither will matter.

Renny Harlin, the director of all three chapters of the new The Strangers movies, is quoted as saying, “If it had been a straight remake or a sequel, I wouldn’t have done it.” So what can we expect? The Strangers: Chapter 1 will look the most like the 2008 film, with a couple—played by Madelaine Petsch and Froy Gutierrez—terrorized in an isolated cabin by three masked strangers. Chapters 2 and 3 will continue the story by focusing primarily on Madelaine Petsch’s character Maya in different situations as the strangers “continue to invade her life in any way possible.”

Harlin calls the overall story of the trilogy a “case study of victims of a violent crime and the perpetrators.” So, it sounds like The Strangers will dig deep not only into the ongoing story of the victims, but also into the story of the strangers. But is it a good idea to reveal more about the mysterious trio of home invaders? After all, the perceived randomness of their violent acts is a major part of what makes them so unnerving.

The writer and director of the 2008 The Strangers, Bryan Bertino, says that he chose the name “Tamara” simply because he’d heard a story about someone named Tamara, and the name stuck with him.

One example given in the Variety article about how the new trilogy will explore the strangers is that one of the sequels to The Strangers: Chapter 1 will explain who Tamara is. “Tamara” is the name used by the strangers whenever they knock on their victim’s door and ask, “is Tamara here/home?” Do we need to know who Tamara is? Of course not. The moment remains creepy no matter how many times you see in in The Strangers movies because of how jarringly out-of-place it is in the context of what we’re watching. If context is added, it could lessen its impact.

However, this new incarnation of The Strangers is taking a different approach to the original, and that’s exciting. We’re being promised a more character-driven narrative, which could very well provide a whole new way to look at the franchise. And the fact that all three movies will be released within the next year could make for a highly memorable experience. So, despite not necessarily needing to know who Tamara is, The Strangers might provide good reasons for why this information is relevant to making the new trilogy a great alternative to the original.

The Strangers: Chapter 1 releases in theaters on May 17, 2024. The sequels have no official release dates yet, but Chapter 2 is expected sometime later this year, and Chapter 3 should come out in early 2025.

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Chris has a degree in film studies at Temple University’s campus in Tokyo, Japan. He is a renowned expert on horror cinema.