It’s official: The Strangers are returning in 2024 with three more chilling films to watch.
The Strangers is arguably one of the creepiest movies ever to hit theaters. What makes the film’s plot truly terrifying is that the monsters aren’t supernatural creatures; they’re calculating psychopaths, which unfortunately exist outside the movie screen. Even scarier, the films are based on true events. As you watch the story play out, you can’t help but try to contemplate the ways the victims could escape. However, “the strangers” are always one step ahead, proving there’s no way out.
The first iconic movie, The Strangers, was released in theaters in 2008. This psychological horror film stars Liv Tyler, who plays Kristen, and Scott Speedman, who plays James. They get a knock on the door by a young woman who asks, “Is Tamara home?” They explain she must be at the wrong house, and she leaves. Because it was 4 a.m., this worries the couple, though they soon forget. However, it only takes a short time for the masked characters to shake them up again once they play a cat-and-mouse game over the next several hours.
Because the first movie was such a hit, now considered a cult classic, Bryan Bertino released a second film, The Strangers: Prey at Night, in 2018. The second installment takes a slightly different approach, following a family at a trailer park, and is more of a slasher than a psychological thriller. However, the premise remains the same: there’s a set of three masked strangers who are preying on random victims.
What we know about the upcoming Strangers trilogy
In 2024, an entire Strangers trilogy will be released. Here’s what we know so far.
The Strangers: Chapter 1 stars Madelaine Petsch from Riverdale and Froy Gutierrez from Teen Wolf. They play the role of a couple, Mia and Ryan, who plan to move across the country to start a new life in the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, their car breaks down, forcing them to find an Airbnb. Similarly to the first film, this rental home is remote, and masked strangers stalk and torture them during their stay.
Director Renny Harlin stated The Strangers: Chapter 1 “is close to the original movie in its set-up of a young couple in an isolated environment in a house and a home invasion happening for random reasons.” It appears the strangers are wearing the same masks as in the first movie as well. The newly released photos show two masked characters, “Man in the Mask” and “Doll Face,” though we assume “Pin-Up Girl” will also make an appearance.
The other two movies will dive deeper into the psyche of the characters. In The Strangers: Chapter 2 and Chapter 3, we’ll learn more about who they are and what motivates them to do the horrific things they do. What made the original movies truly haunting was the strangers being somewhat unknown. Aside from their twisted minds, the audience knows nothing about the three murderers. Though many are unsure if this will ruin the mystique of the strangers, making them less menacing, we’ll have to wait and see what happens. We’ll also learn more about the victims’ trauma, should they escape the strangers and live on to tell the tale.
There’s no official release date, but they’ve already wrapped up filming all three movies. They plan to release the entire trilogy in 2024, so horror fans have a lot to look forward to in the coming year. As for now, you can stream The Strangers (2008) on Netflix.
The chilling true stories behind the films
Director Brian Bertino got his inspiration for the movies from several real-life events, one of which is the Keddie Cabin Murders. To this day, police still don’t know the motive for these crimes, and those responsible for murdering the individuals haven’t been found. It seems like it was a random, senseless act, much like the murders in both movies (and presumably the upcoming three.) In the first film, the reason for killing the couple was “Because you were home,” and in The Strangers: Prey at Night, the killer only responded with, “Why not?” when asked why they were targeting the family.
The first creepy scene from The Strangers occurs when an unknown woman knocks on their door, asking for Tamara. Terrifyingly enough, Bertino added this detail because he experienced something similar as a child. He claims he and his young sister were left home alone when there was a knock on their door. His sister answered it, and a woman stood on the other side, asking for someone who didn’t live there.
Bertino also got inspiration from the notorious Manson family, including the Tate-LaBianca murders, which occurred during a home invasion. Actress Sharon Tate’s murder particularly stands out, with her gruesome stabbing appearing similar to the couple’s fate in The Strangers.