I have never been a fan of “slasher” movies and approached the Liv Tyler vehicle, “The Strangers” with much trepidation. However, this film, which opened in May and just dropped out of the Top 5 for the first time this week, has been so adeptly marketed that it snagged me, hook, line and sinker.
From the awesome trailer to the brilliant “inspired by true events” approach, the “little film that could” has already made $45 million on its initial $10 million budget. The movie’s marketers have played the “Blair Witch Project” card to the hilt—did what happened in the movie really happen?—from pre-movie publicity through the opening historical narration and copy scroll, complete with dates and names (and all to great effect).
Is it the best movie in the world? Far from it. Is it intriguing, different and out of the ordinary? Yes. Did it drive me to conduct online research into the Keddie Resort massacre and other similar events? Absolutely. It has been awhile since movie marketers did their jobs so well—keeping the public guessing and wanting more; a rare thing indeed in today’s information age.