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'Strangers: Chapter I' Director and Producer Clarify; Prequel, Remake or Reboot?

Peering into the depths of horror cinema, audiences are once again on the brink of terror with the upcoming release of "The Strangers: Chapter One." Our own Klep Napier of wearecritix.com stood in for Comiccrusaders.com to have a conversation with director Renny Harlin and producer Courtney Solomon that provided a glimpse into this highly anticipated movie, slated for release on May 17. Fitting into neither the category of a remake nor a prequel, this installment is setting the stage for an entirely new experience within the strangers' universe.


Key Takeaways:

  • "The Strangers: Chapter One" is neither a prequel nor a remake but the start of a new storyline that honors the original film's dread and terror.

  • The upcoming chapters 2 & 3 will follow both protagonists and antagonists, delving into the origins of what makes someone turn into "the stranger."

  • A pivotal and intense scene involving rats and nails was brought to life through a constructed realistic environment, showcasing the filmmakers' commitment to creating fresh authentic horror.




Not a Prequel, Not a Remake: The Strangers' New Direction

"The Strangers: Chapter One" stands as an enigmatic puzzle for fans, who are eager to uncover its true nature. Producer Courtney Solomon sheds light on their approach to this new chapter. It isn't a reimagining of the initial film nor a backstory-rich prequel but a continuation and deep dive into the narrative, setting the tone for a larger, complex story. This developmental aspect is both intriguing and challenging, as the creators navigate honoring a revered original while adding innovation.


"...we're telling a real amazing character piece, which is actually just one giant four and a half hour movie. That's how we wrote it,"

Solomon portrays the vision beyond traditional understanding.


This radical storytelling approach blurs the lines between sequel and standalone tale, igniting curiosity and setting a high bar for character-driven horror narratives.


Protagonists, Antagonists, and Origin Stories

A fascinating revelation from the creators is the promise of a balanced view between the protagonists' and antagonists' journey in the forthcoming chapters. It suggests an intricate interplay of interaction and development that could redefine the conventional horror antagonist motives. Instead of merely presenting a chronological origin story, the film intends to explore the psychological underpinnings of what transforms someone into a menacing stranger.


"You might find out the origins of what makes somebody like that tick...Nobody wants to know that [simple origin]. Instead, what we're doing is we're following protagonist and antagonists as they go through some really warped and messed up shit,"

explains Solomon.


This approach resonates with fans who seek depth and subtlety in understanding their favorite villains' motivations without demystifying their aura of intrigue.


Crafting Terror: The Art of Horror Scenes

The discussion also delves into the technical and creative process behind one of "The Strangers: Chapter One's" most harrowing scenes. It demonstrates the filmmakers’ dedication to authentic terror that resonates with the audience's primordial fears. Harlin details the extensive measures taken to create a realistic and horrifying setting for an unforgettable sequence involving rats and nails despite the challenges faced in shooting such an intense moment.


Harlin clarifies the intricate process, noting that

"to shoot it in a real environment would be completely impossible...So we built that whole environment, but tried to make it as realistic as possible."

This commitment to craft is an encouraging sign for fans yearning for genuinely riveting horror cinema that pays homage to practical effects and adept set design.


Legacy and Innovation: The Strangers' New Chapter

As the conversation draws to a close, the takeaways from Harlin and Solomon for "The Strangers: Chapter One" signify a promising evolution within the genre. Balancing a tribute to the iconic original with the fresh narrative risks they are taking, the creators exhibit a confident stride towards the future of horror as a character-driven, sophisticated experience. It stokes the flames of anticipation and offers a robust promise to fans and newcomers alike, ensuring that the horror landscape remains both terrifyingly familiar and thrillingly uncharted.


Fans should mark their calendars for May 17, when the newest chapter of terror hits theaters, and the strangers' universe expands into untold realms of fear and fascination.

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