All 3 of The Strangers movies ranked from worst to best

The Strangers. Photo Credit: John Armour
The Strangers. Photo Credit: John Armour /

If you're looking for a deeper, more immersive horror experience, watching a good home invasion horror film will do it for you. However, these types of movies can be quite frightening for viewers who have deep-seated fears of someone invading their home. The fact that a home invasion could happen in real life can make these movies terrifying. It's the realism of it all.

One of the latest theatrical horror releases of 2024 is the home invasion film The Strangers: Chapter 1. It's part of The Strangers film series, which has three movies so far. Also, it's based on the first film in the series, the hit 2008 horror flick The Strangers, and is the first movie in a standalone sequel trilogy. The other films in the trilogy are The Strangers: Chapter 2 and The Strangers: Chapter 3, which will both be released in theaters at later dates.

Before heading to the theater to see The Strangers: Chapter 1, I went back and rewatched the first two movies in the film series to prepare. Now that I've watched all three of The Strangers movies, I thought I'd rank them from worst to best. If you're curious to know where each movie falls in my ranking, make sure to keep on reading.

3. The Strangers: Chapter 1 (2024)

I'm sure many people would agree with me ranking The Strangers: Chapter 1 as the worst movie in the film series so far, and I say so far because The Strangers: Chapter 2 and The Strangers: Chapter 3 haven't come out yet. My opinion could change after watching the upcoming installments, but for now, The Strangers: Chapter 1 takes the cake.

I'm truly baffled by why the writers decided to basically copy the original film for this movie. That's what The Strangers: Chapter 1 is. A copy-paste of The Strangers with little tweaks to it. Honestly, that's what made me not like this movie. Well, the acting of the male lead (Froy Gutierrez) was questionable as well. His acting wasn't horrible, but he just wasn't convincing enough in my opinion. On the other hand, Madelaine Petsch, who plays the other main character, gave an outstanding performance through and through.

What I will say that I enjoyed about this film is the jump scares. Compared to the first two Stranger movies, this film had way more intense jump scares that had me at the edge of my seat. That's it, though. Since I was pretty much watching something I've already watched before, I didn't have an enjoyable experience overall. Hopefully, the next two installments in the trilogy will bring something fresh and original because the first installment was a huge letdown.

2. The Strangers (2008)

The Strangers is the home invasion movie that started it all. When I saw this movie for the first time back in 2008, I was an instant fan and thought a sequel just wouldn't compare. However, after recently going back and rewatching this film and the sequel (The Strangers: Prey at Night), my opinion has completely changed. While The Strangers is still a pretty solid home invasion flick, The Strangers: Prey at Night reigns supreme in my book. I'll get to why the sequel is the best movie in The Strangers film series in a bit, but I want to first share why the original is still a good film.

What makes The Strangers an entertaining watch is the amazing performances by the leads Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, the constant build of tension, the tense and foreboding atmosphere, the creepy imagery, etc. The film's premise was also new and unique at the time. Overall, The Strangers is definitely the type of movie you can go back and rewatch every now and then.

1. The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018)

The Strangers: Prey at Night is truly an underrated horror movie, and I don't know how some critics view it as inferior to the original. Yes, the original is a good film, but The Strangers: Prey at Night was an incredible follow-up. It has more jump scares, it's bloodier, and it pays homage to so many horror classics like Halloween, Christine, The Fog, and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. I also enjoyed the fact that there were more characters to follow, which meant more victims for the masked intruders.

But while the entire cast gave amazing performances, Pretty Little Liars: Summer School 's Bailee Madison was a scene-stealer! Remember the scenes where her character faces off with Dollface and the Man in the Mask? I enjoyed every second and loved how her character showed the masked strangers that she was not going down easy. Hopefully, the writers for The Strangers: Chapter 2 and The Strangers: Chapter 3 took notes from this film because this is what a good home invasion horror film looks like.

How would you rank The Strangers movies?

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