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The Strangers: Chapter 1

also known as “The Strangers 3,” “Hívatlanok: Első fejezet,” “Les Intrus,” “Los Extraños: Capítulo 1,” “Necunoscuții: Capitolul 1,” See more »
MPA Rating: R-Rating (MPA) for horror violence, language and brief drug use.

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan

Moral Rating: Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults
Genre: Horror
Length: 1 hr. 31 min.
Year of Release: 2024
USA Release: May 17, 2024 (wide)
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Relevant Issues
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Home invasion by strangers in a remote location

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BRUTAL, GORY FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

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Overcoming FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

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Learn about spiritual light versus darkness

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Featuring Madelaine PetschMaya
Richard BrakeSheriff Rotter
Gabriel BassoGregory
Rachel ShentonDebbie
Froy GutierrezRyan
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Director Renny Harlin
Producer Fifth Element Productions
Frame Film [Switzerland]
Rafaella Biscayn
See all »
Distributor: Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. Trademark logo.
(Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.)

“They don’t need a reason”

Maya and Ryan are a young couple who are making the trek to Portland, Oregon for Maya’s job interview (and, of course, to celebrate five years together as a couple). Of course with any journey sometimes the unexpected just happens. In Maya and Ryan’s case their GPS dies on them. “Just perfect,” they think.

Soon enough, Maya and Ryan find themselves in the incredibly small town of Venus. After grabbing a small bite to eat at a local diner, the couple discover their car is busted. Ryan is furious until someone taps on his window… a local mechanic named Rudy. Rudy tells them it’ll be at least a day or two to get the necessary parts and fix the car, but that, in the meantime, there is a local AirBnB cabin the couple can stay in.

“This has to be a scam. The mechanic purposely messed up the car while we were in the diner.”

Maya insists it isn’t and that they should go to the AirBnB.

When the couple arrive at the cabin, Maya and Ryan realize just how peaceful and romantic the cabin truly is. I mean, the fridge is dead, the power keeps going out, and there’s this weird girl coming up to their door and asking if Tamara’s home. Other than that, what else could possibly go wrong?


You are about to read one of the world’s shortest movie reviews. “The Strangers: Chapter 1” has plenty of issues, right from the title sequence. If you have to start a terror-film with statistics regarding violent crimes in America (you know, instead of relying on, I don’t know, the atmospheric music or the actual film itself), you know you’re in trouble. The film doesn’t get any better though.

After the rather uncomfortable title sequence has occurred, you get to watch a rather forced romance occur on screen, ever so briefly. I mean, really, the characters have very little romantic chemistry on screen, and they seem like polar opposites: she’s light and bubbly, and he’s more short and moody.

Then, of course we get to the heart of the film, the horror, the whole reason the audience goes to these films.

Here’s the thing though, the film really isn’t that horrifying (at least not in the way that it counts)… If anything it was rather “meh” and rather predictable. As the Strangers are “terrorizing,” the young couple throughout the film (in the most graphic of ways I might add), I was asking myself, “Wait, haven’t I seen this before?” In fact I’m not the only one who’s come to this conclusion. Many critics have stated the exact same thing. In fact, one might argue “The Strangers: Chapter 1” is practically an exact carbon copy of the original “The Strangers” from 2014. Yes I get that the “Strangers: Chapter 1” is supposed to be a reboot of the 2014 “Strangers” (and you guessed it, there’s unfortunately Chapter 2 and 3 are set for 2025 and 2026), but isn’t a reboot supposed to be different from the original?

Aside from all that, there are plot holes in multiple instances throughout the film. For example, in one scene Ryan takes off to get food for him and Maya, and he finds a motorcycle at the cabin. He says he doesn’t know how to drive a motorcycle but then 5 minutes later we see him driving a motorcycle like a pro. A story with horribly slow pacing that makes a 90 minute slasher-horror film feel like an eternity (I couldn’t help but check my watch multiple times). But the biggest problem with this film faces is the sickening, mind-numbing display of violence on screen. Speaking of which…

Content of Concern

VIOLENCE: Someone swings an axe at a man, killing him just offscreen. Later, we see the guy’s rotting corpse. Two people are tied to chairs and stabbed in the guts. Their attacker kicks over their chairs, letting them bleed out on the floor. A man is shot in the face with a shotgun, dying instantly, and we see his mangled features. People are attacked with axes, knives and guns. Someone breaks through a window to grab another character around the neck, briefly choking her. Two people are knocked unconscious.

An axe man breaks down two doors, terrifying the couple. The strangers stalk the couple, drifting in and out of sight throughout the film. They chase the couple through the woods. And even the masks the strangers wear indicate violent intentions. A couple find a chicken with its throat slit and tied to the ceiling inside the house. Later, they find the word “Hello” and a smiley face drawn in blood on a door. A motorcycle is set on fire as a couple approach it, knocking them backwards. They try to escape using another vehicle, but they’re T-boned by one of the bad guys in a truck. And the driver continues to ram the truck into the car to prevent them from escaping.

About feeding your mind with fearful things

Do not feed your fears and worries. Overcome them with wisdom, integrity and trust in God’s promised help for His committed children.

God’s followers are told numerous times in Scripture to “fear not” and “do not be afraid.” The only one that all should truly fear is God. fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and righteousness.

Other ongoing fears are unhealthy and frequently lead to sin—in thoughts and actions. Our Enemy often uses our fears and worrisome negative thinking to manipulate us, and make us ineffective in Christ’s service—or worse.

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

A character manages to get hold of a shotgun, firing it at one of their attackers but missing. Later, he holds the gun to a masked woman’s head, demanding to know where his girlfriend is. Someone impales their hand on an exposed nail. After, it’s removed, and her bleeding hand is wrapped with a makeshift bandage. People trip as they flee, often injuring themselves. As mentioned above, Ryan and Maya nearly get into a head-on collision. Ryan jokes about cannibalism. A man wields a tire iron in a threatening manner toward someone.

VULGARITY: F**k (11), F**king (2), F**k off (1), F**k you (1), M*ther-F**ker (1), an obscene gesture (1), Sh*t (8), A** (2)

PROFANITY: God’s name is misused four times andH*ll (2).

SEX: A masked man leers at a character unseen, as she showers. A couple are seen passionately making out in a few scenes.

NUDITY: A character is seen in the shower (we see her naked from behind as she enters the shower and see her bare shoulders and arms as she showers). Before this we see her in nothing but a dress shirt and some very short pajamas.

Drugs: A character is seen smoking marijuana,

Alcohol: Several characters drink beer.

Other: A group of young Mormon boys go to a couple and ask “Are you a sinner?” while trying to hand them a pamphlet and one of the characters responds to the boys with, “Aren’t we all?” (this is supposed to be funny to the audience, but honestly, I thought it was just in poor taste and also an attack on Mormons and Christians).

There are absolutely NO redeeming lessons, morals or themes to be found in the entire film.

Final Thoughts

“The Strangers: Chapter 1” is a mind-numbing, abhorrently violent waste of 90 minutes of your life. In addition to mocking Christians, Mormons and basically sticking its tongue out at suburban life, this film is just poorly written and poorly performed.

Christians are strongly discouraged from attending this film (this includes children and teens). Don’t go to it, don’t watch the trailer at home, shoot, don’t even read the synopsis. You are not edifying the Holy Spirit by attending this film. In short, I really hope Chapter 2 never comes to fruition.

  • Violence: Extreme
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Heavy
  • Profane language: Moderate
  • Sex: Moderate
  • Nudity: Mild
  • Drugs/Alcohol: Mild
  • Wokeism: Mild
  • Occult: None

Learn about spiritual light versus darkness

Learn about discernment—wisdom in making personal entertainment decisions

cinema tickets. ©  Alexey SmirnovEvery time you buy a movie ticket or buy or rent a video you are in effect casting a vote telling Hollywood, “I’ll pay for that. That’s what I want.” Read our article

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

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Secular Movie Critics
…a whole new level of brainless horror movie…
Nick Schager, The Daily Beast
…As pointless as it is pitiless, “The Strangers: Chapter 1” is one of the most cynical horror reboots in recent memory. …
Roger Moore, Movie Nation
…I might have been more kindly disposed to the relentlessly dark nature of the story if I hadn’t seen essentially the same narrative developed with more flair 16 years ago. … [2½]
James Berardinelli, ReelViews
…so similar to its forebears that it might as well be a remake… The nihilistic randomness of the violence is what makes the film connect on a visceral level…
Michael Nordine, Variety
…The trilogy plan has meant that the filmmakers are shying away from calling it a remake, but that’s very much what this first part is. …
Jesse Hassenger, Paste
…Horror tropes gone wrong… The Strangers: Chapter 1 is everything wrong in the horror genre. The film suffers from zero build-up, a lack of atmospheric tension, and an overreliance on cheap jump scares. …
Valerie Complex, Deadline
…staggeringly redundant… unnecessary horror retread… There’s something almost contemptuous about it all, a “this will do, right?” shrug of a thing that audiences should instantly reject with a loud “no, it won’t”. [2/4]
Benjamin Lee, The Guardian [UK]