The creepy home invasion horror movie The Strangers has become a bit of a cult classic since its release in 2008. While the series did garner a 2018 sequel, The Strangers: Prey By Night, it never quite spawned the franchise you might expect from a hit horror movie. But director Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Exorcist: The Beginning) and Lionsgate are here to fix that with a trilogy of new Strangers movies inspired by the originals.
Harlin provided new details on the trilogy of movies during a panel at New York Comic Con 2023 where he also showed fans some frightening early footage from the trio of movies.
While we don’t know the full story of the trilogy, Lionsgate does have a description for the first chapter:
Madelaine Petsch (TV’s Riverdale) stars as a young woman starting a new life with her fiancé. Suddenly, during a road trip stop in a remote vacation rental in the woods, they become the prey of a mysterious gang of masked strangers who attack without warning or reason.
It’s a premise that should be instantly recognizable to fans of the original movie or its sequel, but what’s even more interesting is how this movie was made.
In an interview with Bloody-Disgusting, Harlin explains that the script, which was written by Alan R. Cohen (King of the Hill), Alan Freedland (King of the Hill), and Amber Loutfi, was originally 280 pages and he immediately wanted to make it into three separate movies. The first, Harlin says, is a fairly faithful re-imagining of the original Strangers movie (complete with similar masks) updated for 2023, but where the original movie ends with everyone just driving away, the new trilogy will keep following the story.
According to Harlin, the second and third films will continue to follow Petsch’s character as we see her try to continue her life after the acts of senseless violence in the first movie, and what that does to her as a person.
Perhaps the most surprising and exciting element of this new trilogy is that all three movies have already been filmed. Harlin worked on them back-to-back-to-back, and Lionsgate plans to release all three in 2024.
The first entry in the series, The Strangers Chapter 1, doesn’t have a release date yet, but the first footage from the movie was shown during the series’ New York Comic Con panel, which means it should be released sometime in the near future. Along with Petsch, Chapter 1 will also star Gabriel Basso (Super 8), Rachel Shenton (All Creatures Great and Small), and Richard Brake (Barbarian).