Director – Johannes Roberts (Storage 24, 47 Meters Down)
Starring – Christina Hendricks (The Neon Demon, Fist Fight), Martin Henderson (Devil’s Knot, Smokin’ Aces), and Bailee Madison (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, The Night Before Halloween)
Release Date – 2018
Rating – 3.5/5
Most of the time I’m down for sequels, prequels or remakes but once in awhile I hear about one and struggle to wrap my head around it. Recently I had that same thought when a sequel to The Strangers was announced. Granted, I had never seen the original film but it looked like every other home invasion movie I had seen up to that point.
I was not interested in it whatsoever but Scream Factory released it which meant I had to have it for my collection. After requesting a review copy of the first film I was able to get one for the sequel as well. Now, after seeing the first film I was not looking forward to checking out Prey at Night but I had to…for science.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a family who are leaving town for a weekend getaway before they send their troubled daughter to a boarding school. They are visiting a distant uncle to stay in his trailer park but they leave too late and arrive after dark. This innocent getaway soon turns deadly when three masked killer arrive and separates the group. They expect to pick them to split up and become easy targets but they are wrong. They fight back resulting in even more carnage.**Spoiler Alert**
The first Strangers film was predictable and bored me to tears. Several fans of the films had mentioned on social media that Prey at Night was a better film. I wasn’t necessarily looking for a better film but I did want something entertaining. I’m glad I listened to them because Prey of Nightwas the better film.
The acting in this one is rather generic but so is the characters. The characters are very flat and unlikable so the acting fits but no one really stands out. The casting isn’t bad but no one really feels convincing in their role. I was especially disappointed in the masked strangers. They were one of the few factors that made the first film watchable but they seem to have changed somewhat in this film. A little bit of personality and emotion bleeds through which ruined the menacing tone they created in both films. Their lack of humanity is what made the first film bearable. Now that they have their humanity back its not as menacing.
The story for this one is a little less home invasion and more slasher which is why I can dig it a little more. It does move slowly at times but there is far more action in this film than the first. Some of you will argue the first did a better job at creating atmosphere and tension but I have to completely disagree with you.
Finally, this film is rather brutal. We get several on screen kills. Some are rather typical slasher kills while others are way more entertaining and visually stunning. I loved the effects and how the kills were approached in this one. Overall, The Strangers: Prey at Night is a superior film in the series. The characters may be unlikable but you really enjoy watching them die. I highly recommend this one.