Sunday, May 18, 2008

Perfect Strangers

"Don't talk to strangers." This is the great wisdom bestowed on the tiny, usually in the same breath as, "Did you make any new friends today?" No wonder my generation is hopped up on therapy and anti-anxiety drugs. Are we supposed to run away from strangers or befriend them?

As much as I don't want to admit it, there's definitely a bit of "fear of the unknown" in me. Probably in you too. And I guess strangers would fit neatly into that category. And thanks to Hollywood, we associate unfamiliar faces with stab wounds and overzealous soundtracks. And there's no better time for a terrifying stranger to wreak havoc on the innocent than in moments of idyllic bliss.

Case in point: Boy Behind the Wall. I'm sleeping peacefully when a high-pitched yell echoes from the other side of my wall. Right beside my head. Stupid hockey game. Do boys not know how to silently cheer when the game goes into overtime? The odd thumping and banging from his apartment once had the girl upstairs concerned for his life. Which is, I suppose, better than fearing for her own life.

So take Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman. Beautiful people. Give them a vacation home. Add champagne and candlelight. Have them terrorized by strangers.

From the trailer of The Strangers, I'm doubting that these particular strangers are guitar-playing boys they share a laundry room with. I'm pretty good at plot-predicting like that. No, if there's one thing I've learned from my limited exposure to horror films, is that strangers exist with the sole purpose of trying to make sure that you no longer do.

But keep in mind that if it wasn't for a stranger...
...Forrest Gump wouldn't have had anyone to tell his story to at the bus stop.
...George Bailey would have killed himself.
...Tom Hanks would still be "Sleepless in Seattle."
...Julia Roberts would still be wearing a hideous wig on a street corner.
...Haley Joel Osment's pay-it-forward plan would have been a dismal failure.

So, kids, befriend strangers. Just not creepy ones. And sure, you can still lock your doors.

And as a side note, I think I'd like to go camping with Scott Speedman. He seems like he'd be good at chopping wood and fishing. And at lending you his plaid flannel shirt. Nice to see him post-Felicity and non-Underworld-ish. And yes, I thought this before finding the picture below. It just supports my camping-buddy intuition.

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