When a little small budget film called THE STRANGERS debuted in 2008 it was a sleeper hit among horror fans that arguably gained fandom years following the release. I personally think Bryan Bertino’s THE STRANGERS is one of the best horror films in the last 10 years. It placed on atmospheric fear and isolation terror better than many films in recent history. Playing on real life fears and based on a true story to boot. Throw in some creepy mask and a slow burn that leaves you on the edge of your seat and you have a true modern classic. Since then many fans have been clamoring for a sequel to a somewhat open ended final scene.
Fans were teased with a sequel for years now – even hearing that the film had partially been shot when the rights were owned by Relativity Media. Shortly after the company filed for bankruptcy and the sequel was left in limbo much like the studio. So where did that leave die hard fans of THE STRANGERS? Left wanting more.
We saw a glimmer of hope when a studio named BLOOM picked up the rights. It’s was officially happening!
The official press release read as follows;
BLOOM has taken international rights to The Strangers 2, the sequel to the 2008 hit which grossed over $82 million worldwide. Johannes Roberts (The Other Side of the Door, 47 Meters Down) is on board to direct from a script written by Bryan Bertino, who wrote and directed the original, and Ben Ketai. The Fyzz Facility Pictures’ Wayne Marc Godfrey (The Foreigner, The Survivalist), Robert Jones (Centurion, The Usual Suspects), Mark Lane & James Harris (47 Meters Down, I Am Not A Serial Killer) are producing, in association with Relativity Media. BLOOM will be handling international sales at the European Film Market in Berlin.
SEQUEL UPDATE & BREAKING NEWS:
This morning we reached out to Kip Weeks for an update on the project. He plays one of the most iconic figures in modern day horror, “Man in the Mask” aka Baghead. What we found out was disappointing. Apparently the creative team behind the sequel is going in a “different direction creatively.” and they wouldn’t be bringing back the original cast to play The Strangers. This includes not just Kip Weeks but also Gemma Ward (Doll Face) Laura Margolis (Pin-Up Girl.)
I asked Kip how playing the character made an impact on him and what it would mean to play him again in the sequel.
“For me the character was very personal. Deciding how I would play the character so it did it seem like anybody wearing a mask. Movements and looks had to have intention. I was given the opportunity to chose my outfit and help create the mask with Brian Bertino and Sunny Mallhi.
What we know from the history of Horror is that fans become obsessed with the killers. They want to know their story’s and in the end route for them. I think for such a long struggle to finally get this movie made the fans will want and deserve the original trio back.
It seems to cheapen the experience by not doing so. The story in the end if done right will be about The Strangers. As history has taught us with Micheal Myers-Jason Voorhees-Freddy Krueger. This is the opportunity for this franchise to make its mark and I would not want to star by disappointing its fans.”
We have seen people behind some of the most iconic masks in horror make careers out of never even seeing their face. But other like Robert Englund will forever be known as Freddy. The reason this rubs me the wrong way is because it cost next to nothing to keep the same cast and essentially provide a legacy franchise for fans.
The even more concerning part about the news is that the studio could be marginalizing The Stranger characters in the sequel. Perhaps cutting them out of the film. It doesn’t sound like they will go Halloween III on us – but firm details around a “different creative direction” haven’t been released so it’s not entirely out of the question.
I think we should take it upon ourselves to try and bring back the original cast to carry on the legacy. Many horror films don’t need a sequel. But I think this story and these characters handled the appropriate way have a real chance to make a major impact on the world of horror. They already brought back the type of film that worked so well in the 70’s and 80’s and put a modern spin on it.
KEEP THE STRANGERS IN THE STRANGERS
That’s why I would like to start #KeepTheStrangers on Twitter and share our love of the characters to send a message to the studio we want to keep the cast and the characters as major parts of the sequel.