Love them or hate them, fear of jumping is an important part of horror movies. Although not all screamers, as they are sometimes called, are created equal, some are nobler than others.
“Stingers” describes the jumpers who give the audience one last shot before the credits roll – and believe it or not, it’s a time-honored tradition. There’s the dream sequence at the end of “Carrie” for example, where our titular witch hero’s bloody arm bursts out of her rocky grave to snatch the traumatized Sue. And who could forget the final shot of the amazing film that was found “[REC], “watching Angela being dragged out into the darkness and screaming in terror over a monstrosity she cannot see. From Jason’s destructive corpse leaping out of the calm lake of the original” Friday the 13th “to Donald Sutherland’s terrifying scream in the late 1978 “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” remake, one last shocking scare is a perfectly acceptable (if a little silly) way to end a horror movie.
“The Strangers” keeps that tradition alive. Like the two Mormon boys (who need some serious therapy after this) enters the house, they spy on James and Kristen’s missing bodies and investigate. Hanging over Kristen, the boys enter the crime scene with a sincerely eerie silence, perhaps dumbfounded by the gruesome carnage that lies before them.
A boy hovers over Kristen’s body and stretches his hand out towards her face (hey, maybe he should check her vitality, who knows?). Then: bam. Kristen comes and screams. Cut to black.
Given the film’s nihilistic gait, Kristen’s survival is initially surprising. But on closer inspection, the attackers, who leave Kristen alive, give us some disturbing insight into the psyche of the killers. They are not worried about the killing or even getting caught. All that interests them is the violence – rhyme, reason or consequence must be cursed.