Upcoming horror trilogy The Strangers will answer some burning questions from the 2008 original and bring fans closure, says director

The Strangers: Chapter 1
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Offering a new take on a beloved horror movie is no easy feat. When reimagining the 2008 flick The Strangers, director Renny Harlin knew he was "going to be judged against the original film," but hopes his upcoming The Strangers Trilogy will not only honor the original, but also answer some long-awaited burning questions.

"I'm fully aware that there's going to be those die-hard fans that no matter what we do, they are not going to be satisfied," Harlin tells GamesRadar+. "But I'm sure there's also going to be a lot of people who, like me, will be like 'Okay, some of the questions from the original film will get answered' and it'll bring certain closure and satisfaction."

The late ‘00s flick The Strangers directed by Bryan Bertino turned the home invasion horror subgenre on its head, following a couple on the rocks who stay over at a family-owned cabin in the woods where they are stalked and hunted by three masked strangers. Similarly, Harlin’s take follows a young couple whose car troubles force them to stay at a rural Airbnb where they are soon terrorized by a killer trio. 

But there are some differences too. The new couple, played by Madelaine Petsch and Froy Gutierrez, are very much in love in this take, something that was important to the filmmaker, as he explains, "I wanted them to be in love and happy and I wanted to really violate that perfect happiness with the utmost violence and horror." The fact that the reimagining spans over three movies also gives us a chance to get to know the victims better, or more importantly the villains, Dollface, Pin-Up Girl, and Masked Man, who we know absolutely nothing about in the original. 

The Strangers (2008)

(Image credit: Universal Studios)

So, how about some answers to those burning questions? For the past 16 years since Bertino’s film dropped, fans have no doubt had some queries about the masked assailants. Who are they? Where did they come from? Why are they doing this? Which is largely the whole point of the movie. But, how great would it be to finally get some answers? Well, the wait may finally be over as The Deep Blue Sea helmer confirms: "We will definitely get some answers. We will definitely learn a lot more about The Strangers and about what makes these kinds of people tick."

One major contention a lot of fans have with Bertino’s flick is the identity of Tamara. At the beginning of the film, one of the Strangers knocks on the door and asks "Is Tamara home?" and proceeds to do it until the occupants start to freak out. This is something many have brushed off as an excuse the trio used to make contact with the victims, but according to Harlin, Tamara is very much real. "We will find out who Tamara is, which I'm sure a lot of people have been wondering," says Harlin.

All in all, it sounds as though we will be getting a whole lot of closure when it comes to The Strangers and what kind of killers they really are. But die-hard fans of the original can rest assured that the new take will not erase the 2008 original, but add on to it and create a new world of The Strangers as Harlin puts it: "This is a great opportunity to pay homage to the movie that I loved."

The Strangers: Chapter 1 hits theatres on May 17, 2024. For more, check out our list of the best horror movies, or keep up to date with upcoming horror movies heading your way this year.

Editorial Associate, GamesRadar+

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for SFX and Total Film online. I have a Bachelors Degree in Media Production and Journalism and a Masters in Fashion Journalism from UAL. In the past I have written for local UK and US newspaper outlets such as the Portland Tribune and York Mix and worked in communications, before focusing on film and entertainment writing. I am a HUGE horror fan and in 2022 I created my very own single issue feminist horror magazine.