YMMV / The Strangers

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Near the end of the movie, the killers stop their truck beside some boys handing out Mormon pamphlets so Dollface can ask for one, and when asked if she's a sinner she says, "Sometimes." Did she do that simply to screw with the boys, out of morbid curiosity, or because she was feeling guilty about what she'd done and looking for a way to process it? Inasmuch as the movie has a position it seems to lean more towards the latter than the other two, namely Pin-Up Girl's assurance that "It'll be easier next time."
      • The killers had the suggestive appearance of a cult, and Pin-Up Girl's line indicates that the killing was Dollface's initiation. She did take the lead on the psychological part of the attack.
    • Just before their Dramatic Unmask moment and killing the couple, the Strangers wait a few seconds without doing anything while James and Kristen share a final moment together and an Anguished Declaration of Love. Did they do this to be nice and give them a few seconds to prepare for their demises, or were they just trying to drag the torment out longer?
    • Did the Jehovah's Witnesses realize that the woman they passed their pamphlet to, before they arrived at the scene of the crime, probably was one of the killers?
  • Ending Fatigue: The sequence of showing that Kristen is still alive for one last jump scare.
  • Follow the Leader:
    • It's kind of like Ils but without the final plot twist, and its taking place entirely in and around a large, remote building is akin to Vacancy.
    • The Onion's AV Club described it as "Funny Games without the scolding."
  • Paranoia Fuel: The film demonstrates how easily someone can move around without making a sound and obscure themselves in shadow if they know what they're doing. If you were scared by this film, you probably wouldn't want to be in any homes far away from towns or cities for a while. This can also be a nightmare for anyone that lives alone.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Despite heavy criticisms for how the main characters acted and the supposed omnipotence of the killers, the film did well, due to the atmosphere of what would happen to someone if they endured a home invasion. Liv Tyler's performance was also praised.
  • Uncanny Valley: The masks.
  • What an Idiot!: The good guys. In spades. They never call the police when they had the opportunity, they never open the front door to see the girl knocking on their door, and the boyfriend owns a shotgun that he has no idea how to use. The couple never had a chance.
    • The couple's friend is the biggest idiot of them all, though. "Hey, I'm driving up to my friends' house and a brick just hit my windshield! Should I drive back out and go get the police? Nope! I should get out of my car and go inside!"