Saturday, June 21, 2008

Stabbing People Saves Them

Q. Allow me to liken "The Strangers" to "Hamlet," if you will. What made the sad ending of 1997's "Hamlet," to which you awarded four stars, so much more redeeming than that of "The Strangers"? Both movies featured complicated, multidimensional and human characters, who, through trials and tribulations, suffered and ultimately were killed. Both films were superbly acted, filmed and directed, and I find the endings to be very similar.

So what about the end of "The Strangers" made it be a 1½-star movie while Hamlet got four? Wasn't "The Strangers" also more about the feelings of the two main characters, and the wrenching sympathy to be felt for them?

Kyle Strand, Louisville, Ky.

A. I think it had a lot to do with everything that happened before the ends of the two films.

- Roger Ebert's Answer Man column

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