Shot in fourth quarter 2006, Brian Bertino’s The Strangers has gathered dust on Rogue Pictures’ shelf since missing its first release date (July 2007).  I figured it moved to get out of the way of that infamous horror juggernaut Captivity, but when it failed to turn up around Halloween, I wrote it off as a troubled film.

Though I’ve yet to see the movie, those delays mean jack shit now that I’ve seen this very spiffy trailer, which suggests that Mr. Bertino has studied up on his John Carpenter.  More horror films should exploit the potential of the widescreen like this; there’s nothing more frightening than a figure lurking in the background while a character nervously sweats it out in the foreground.  Think of Laurie Strode whimpering as Michael Myers rises up in the room behind her.  Those are the kinds of moments Bertino seems to be after with The Strangers.

My only worry is that his blandly beautiful leads, Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, might render the human drama completely inert.  But then I look at the below poster, and I get all excited again.

The Strangers opens May 30th, 2008.  You now have an excuse to avoid Sex and the City.