There's no place like home, as The Unenthusiastic Critic's 2020 Halloween Movie Marathon concludes with Bryan Bertino's harrowing home-invasion thriller The Strangers (2008), starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman.

Michael has been disappointed with Nakea's absence of actual fear throughout her horror movie ordeal, so this time he's chosen what seems like the perfect movie to creep her out, one that plays to all of her particular paranoias. Critically panned when it arrived in 2008, Bertino's feature debut has since been recognized as a tough, efficient, expertly crafted chiller that uses silence, space, and suspense to create an almost unbearable ordeal. But will this one have Nakea locking all the windows, turning on all the lights, and reaching for the butcher's knife?

Join us for a discussion of white suburban anxieties, sad break-up sex, and how these pre-pandemic killers prove that there's nothing you can't do while wearing a mask.


00:00: Prologue: from The Strangers
00:44: Intro and Donation Acknowledgement
04:23: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion
13:50: Interlude: Original Trailer
15:42: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion
56:18: Outro and Next Week's Movie
57:42: Outtake

Notes and Links

—Movie Reviewed: The Strangers (dir. Bryan Bertino, Universal, 2008).
—Links and Resources: "The Strangers Remains the Most Terrifying Movie of the Last Decade," Joe Reid, The Decider; "Best Modern Horror Movies," Don Kaye, Den of Geek; "The Scariest Horror Movies of All Time," Deanna Janes, Harper's Bazaar; "The 60 Scariest Movies of All Time," Paul Schrodt and Emma Carey, Esquire; "The Strangers Is Still Terrifying, 10 Years Later," Adam Nayman, The Ringer; Review by Roger Ebert,; "A Slow Crescendo of Intimidation," Jeanette Catsoulis, NY Times.
—Find additional episodes, leave a comment, or make a donation to support the podcast at
Email us, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. (Suggestions of movies to watch for future episodes are very welcome.)
—Saint-Saens' "Danse Macabre" by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

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