Sara Vilkomerson’s Guide To This Week’s Movies: Bad Things Happen When You Leave the City

Indy rides again! A grizzled Harrison Ford and his hat brought the much-anticipated Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull to the No. 1 spot Memorial Day weekend, bringing in $151 million domestically. But can you hear the clickity-clack, high-heel thunder of what’s coming next? Sex and the City has the estrogen-filled masses whipped up into a frenzy, so expect this one to rake it in as well, and no doubt spawn numerous articles about women who gathered for cosmos, shimmied into their best tube tops, linked arms, sang songs and had pillow fights or something before going to the multiplex. We can’t wait.


IF YOU’RE JUST not that into Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte, how about something scary? The Strangers is another movie we suspect is part of the grand conspiracy to make city dwellers never want to leave their tiny overpriced apartments for a quiet house in the country. Like the much-maligned Funny Games, The Strangers is all about the utter randomness of violence. Kristin McKay (Liv Tyler) and James Hoyt (Scott Speedman) are in the midst of some heavy emotional drama—he proposed, but didn’t exactly get the answer he hoped for—when they crash at his parents’ vacation house. Of course, the house is in the middle of some spooky woods and there are no neighbors in sight, so when three masked strangers arrive and start terrorizing them, there is no way out. The movie is best before the mayhem actually starts: First-time writer-director Bryan Bertino gets right some priceless details as the couple—with nice performances by both leads—try to deal with the evening’s earlier fallout, and elevates his movie above other horror films. When the baddies show up and the frights begin, though, we must confess we had to cover our eyes and resume chants of “it’s only 85 minutes.” But overall? Mission accomplished: We’ll be vacationing in Brooklyn this year.


The Strangers opens Friday at Regal Battery Park Stadium 11.


THIS WEEKEND ALSO brings The Foot Fist Way. This is the first project from Will Farrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions, and tells the story of a self-deluded Tae Kwon Do instructor who falls apart after his wife leaves him. The film was shot in just 19 days—and financed with a credit card—and features mostly newcomers, including writer-director-producer Jody Hill, Danny McBride (our martial-arts hero) and Ben Best as Chuck “The Truck” (not like Mr. Farrell’s Frank “The Tank”). Fans of Napoleon Dynamite should get behind this one—it’s got dozens of lines destined to be repeated ad nauseam by Murray Hill boys in the city and beyond.


The Foot Fist Way opens Friday at Village East Cinema. Sara Vilkomerson’s Guide To This Week’s Movies: Bad Things Happen When You Leave the City