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"The Strangers: Chapter 1": a 52-day shoot film

Updated: 7 days ago

Having left Riverdale behind, Madelaine Petsch is embarking on a new chapter after Cheryl Blossom. This Friday, Petsch makes her big-screen comeback in Renny Harlin’s The Strangers: Chapter 1, the initial part of a trilogy already filmed and set for full release by early 2025.


One might assume Petsch managed to shoot a whole trilogy due to being free from a TV show for most of the year, but she actually filmed and produced the series of movies between Riverdale’s sixth and seventh seasons. With limited time, she felt the pressure both on and off camera during the 52-day shoot.

Madelaine Petsch and Froy Gutierrez sitting on a couch
Madelaine Petsch and Froy Gutierrez as their characters

The 2008´s first one adaptation

The Strangers: Chapter 1 is a reimagining of Bryan Bertino’s 2008 horror classic, The Strangers, with Petsch portraying Maya, an aspiring architect who lands a job interview at a prestigious firm in Portland, Oregon. Accompanied by her boyfriend, Ryan (Froy Gutierrez), they embark on a cross-country road trip, stopping in Venus, Oregon, where their BMW SUV mysteriously breaks down. Directed to a nearby Airbnb cabin by the diner staff, they unknowingly become targets for the masked Strangers.

Similar to Liv Tyler’s character in the original, Maya experiences a suspenseful moment in the bathroom that Petsch devised herself.

During her one day off per week, Petsch's own creation started to affect her, leading her to feel uneasy when alone.

Madelaine Petsch tied on a chair from behind with a Stranger looking at her

Three films to dive into character´s emotions

Harlin filmed the trilogy by location, allowing scenes from each movie to be shot interchangeably. As the three films unfold over five days, Petsch approached the project as one continuous film.

“I received a 290-page script divided into three parts. Viewing it as an unusually long movie made it feel like any other project, and that’s the mindset I adopted,” Petsch explains. 

Petsch also hints at the different direction taken in The Strangers: Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 compared to the first installment.

The Strangers: Chapter 1 is a reimagining of the beloved 2008 original, but it also sets the stage for the unique narratives of chapters two and three, which delve deeper into the characters mentally, emotionally, and physically. What happens when someone is pushed beyond their limits?” Petsch shares.

In a recent conversation with THR, Petsch discusses the need to isolate herself from the actors playing the Strangers and teases her standout scene in Chapter 2.


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