2008s The Strangers is one of my favorite horror films of all time. When it comes to horror movies that are actually scary, for me it’s the ones that can truly happen. The fact that the entire premise is based on being the unlucky people to answer the door is chilling. So, when learning that one of my favorite films was getting rebooted I was hesitant but open. Then learning that it will be a trilogy diving deeper into the lore and answering more “why” questions I become intrigued. Will the information make it less scary or add to the horror?

With The Strangers: Chapter One director Renny Harlin (The Long Kiss Goodnight) the stage is being set. Here we meet Maya (Madelaine Petsch) and Ryan (Froy Gutierrez), a happy couple who have car trouble after stopping at a diner in the middle of nowhere. Now, the couple has to spend the night in the local AirBnB and try to stay alive.

The Strangers: Chapter One Chilling and honoring the original

I found The Strangers: Chapter One a fantastic addition to the original franchise’s legacy. The film page homage while also telling its one bone-chilling tale. Renny Harlin is masterful in building tension, terrifying moments, and bringing new but familiar strangers to life. According to Froy Gutierrez, “The characters are people you recognize in your own life”. He is 100% right. One of the best parts about the film is Maya and Ryan could be anyone. They could be you. They could be me. That adds even more to the horror.

Madelaine Petsch (Riverdale) is an absolute star! I’m so excited to watch her grow as an actress and embrace this scream queen era. Cruel Summer’s Froy Gutierrez is great at bringing Ryan to life. Ryan is the voice of reason with a little bit of an asshole to him, but willing to risk it all for the woman he loves.

So far the promise of diving deeper hasn’t happened, and I’m okay with that. I appreciate that The Strangers: Chapter One is exactly that. It’s the beginning. We are learning about Maya and Ryan to care about what happens to them in the upcoming films. So far the film has my attention and I’m very curious to see how much of nature vs nurture we’re going to dive into in the future for our Strangers.

When asking Madelaine Petsch why people need to see the film in theaters and not at home her answer was simple. “We have so much love, and heart, and soul, and blood, and sweat, and a lot of tears, lots of screams, and because you love me!”

So, you don’t want to let her down. Go see The Strangers: Chapter One in theaters on May 17, 2024!