The Strangers: Chapter 1, a remake that looks scarier than the original

The original The Strangers movie is quietly one of the creepiest movies of the 2000s. So when the trilogy of new movies in the series was announced late last year, it was fair to be a little skeptical. But the new trailer for The Strangers: Chapter 1 was released on Friday and it already looks creepier than the original, so there might be a whole lot more scares left in this franchise.

The trailer sets up what looks like a pretty straightforward remake of the original Strangers movie. A couple, played by Madelaine Petsch (Riverdale) and Froy Gutierrez (Teen Wolf), takes a vacation to a beautiful but remote cabin that gets targeted by a masked group of people who seem hell-bent on torturing them. Just like the first movie, the trailer is full of haunting images and cruel mysteries, like why this couple was targeted in the first place. But director Renny Harlin clearly has an experienced hand, pulling in confidently chilling shots like one of Petsch in the shower as a masked killer lurks behind her just out of view.

While remaking a movie from 2008 may seem surprising, the real point of this project is what comes next: two sequels that will follow Petsch’s character after the events of the first movie. According to Harlin the next two movies will explore her trauma and the difficulties of her life surviving such a harrowing home invasion. While this sounds like a fascinating project, one clear risk is that some of the tension of the first movie might be lost knowing someone survives. But, if this trailer is any indication, the journey between arriving at the cabin and escaping it should be creepy enough to more than make up for the spoiler implicit in the remake’s Chapter 1 title.

The Strangers: Chapter 1 will arrive in theaters on May 17. The original plan was for all three movies in the trilogy to be released this year, but after the Hollywood strikes last year, it seems that they’re likely to get pushed in 2025 as well.

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