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The new movie The Strangers is a Lord of the Rings style epic, but for horror movies

A producer of The Strangers: Chapter 1 explains why the three films were shot back-to-back

A still from The Strangers: Chapter 1
Image credit: Lionsgate

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The Strangers: Chapter 1 will kick off a three-part story that can be best described as the horror equivalent of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Jackson himself was an accomplished horror director before his time on Middle-earth, and The Strangers: Chapter 1 cements the impact that the director has had on genre filmmaking in the 21st century.

Speaking at The Strangers: Chapter 1 panel at WonderCon, producer Courtney Solomon explained that they shot the entire The Strangers: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and Chapter 3 back-to-back – in the same fashion that Peter Jackson shot his Lord of the Rings trilogy.

“When we wrote the script, the story was really this giant 280-page script,” that was then separated into three “chapters,” Solomon revealed. The reason for shooting the three films one after another was because, “Nobody ever has the same enthusiasm – the filmmakers and the actors – as they do the first time they’re doing the first movie… Let’s just go kill it all at once, and make the movie we want to make.”

For a horror franchise such as The Strangers, maintaining that sense of fresh energy is vital. While The Strangers: Chapter 1 is not a direct remake of the original Strangers film from 2008, the panelists described it as more of a “retelling" that’s necessary for the larger story that they have planned. The film stars Riverdale’s Madelaine Pesch and Teen Wolf’s Froy Gutierrez as a couple who must survive a home invasion by three masked people.

Part of what makes Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy so strong is the consistency across all three films. The actors do not noticeably age, and each film retains the same mythic feel from its performances and direction. Hopefully, The Strangers: Chapter 1 and its succeeding films will bring fans the same rock solid experience.


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