Brian Bertino’s writing/directing debut is a surprisingly tense nail biter. It stars Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman as a couple staying at a secluded vacation home that are visited by three masked psychos. Held prisoner in the house, the pair attempt to survive the senseless terrorizing.

Bertino wisely resists the torture porn route and instead works to find innovative and much more effective ways of ratcheting up the tension. It doesn’t all work, but on a whole it’s one of the most legitimately frightening films in many years.

Grade: A-

The Strangers is currently available.