The Strangers: Prey At Night review by Bobby Blakey
In 2008 director Bryan Bertino unleahsed the unexpected hit horror flick The Strangers to the big screen. The film scared audiences with its realistic tones and creepy visuals and they had been talking about a sequel for some time. Now the follow up is here with The Strangers: Prey At Night starring Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, and Ballee Madison, but does it offer up the same creepiness as the original or will it fail to make the kill?
The Strangers: Prey at Night follows a family’s road trip that takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile part to stay with some relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive. Anytime you develop a slasher flick of any kind the first and important thing that you have to have are memorable killers. The simplistic look and feel of them from the first film worked to perfection despite some flaws with the overall film. These characters are a great group to bring back to wreak havoc had it been handled better, but sadly they are surrounded with issues.
The first half of the movie introducing us to the soon to be victims is a bit annoying as they offer up a pretty stereotypical troubled family that you will likely care very little about. Thankfully the short run time means they get to the point pretty quickly, but the uninspired kills, lack of gore and frustrating decision making made for an overall irritating experience. I didn’t overly hate the film because the moments when the strangers are doing their thing is great fun, but everyone else in the film seem to not have any desire to live since they do nothing to defend themselves for the most part.
There are numerous moments where people make stupid decisions and do nothing but just stand there, which we all know is often common in this genre. Here though they literally just watch themselves be stabbed or whatever. Not saying they shouldn’t have been afraid or instantly be able to beat everyone, but try something….anything! There are so many of these moments it just had me angry. Thankfully the strangers offer up some creepy moments that still make
them worth watching, but its just not enough to sustain this film that could have been a blood soaked blast had they just changed the way the rest of the cast reacted.
This is just a rehash of the first film that looks to play up the fake true story element which is fine had they pushed the envelope and tried to make it terrifying and/or bloody but instead played it safe and made a movie that just failed to capitalize on what it has going for it. On the plus side of it all the screening we attended was an outside screening at a drive-in theater that added to the creepiness complete with a set of people in the strangers masks walking around during the screening. It was a fun way to experience the film and hope we get more of those.
In addition to both the theatrical and unrated cut of the film this release offers up a ton of bonus content including featurettes, a music video and alternate ending. Beware the return of the masked family with The Strangers: Prey for Night available now on Digital HD, Blu-ray and DVD from Universal Home Entertainment.