The Strangers: Prey at Night Review
While it may stray very far from the 2008 original, The Strangers: Prey at Night brings the masked strangers back and pays homage to classic 80s slasher movies.
While on a trip to send their daughter, Kinsey (Bailee Madison), to boarding school, a small family (Martin Henderson, Christina Hendricks, Lewis Pullman) stops to rest in a group of trailers to visit relatives. But just as the night starts, a small group of masked killers begins to stalk and hunt down the family. With no way of contacting the authorities and the strangers slowly closing in, the family must survive the night.
Prey at Night definitely diverges from the home invasion formula and instead will feel more like an 80s slasher film. For fans of the original, this might feel like sort of a disservice to the characters. But this new style actually makes Prey at Night feel more original and gives it a style that moviegoers will love.
It’s a colorful film that lets “The Strangers” have a little more personality rather than just dark figures that viewers can’t really connect to. They add a bit of flavor to each kill and moment they are onscreen by having 80s music set the tone. It gives each of them a unique personality, without saying a word, which will both intrigue and horrify audiences.
One of the films strongest elements is its use of family dynamics. These aren’t your typical slasher movie teens or campers being hunted down by a serial killer; they’re a family who cares for one another. There’s no doubt that they have their issues, but audiences will easily recognize that these characters care for one another and when they get hurt it actually affects them. When things are there worst, audiences will especially care as the camera tends to linger around for a long time so that viewers will feel the full effect of what is happening onscreen.
While Prey at Night is uniquely different from its predecessor, it does keep some of the best elements and brings them into a new setting. Audiences will still feel claustrophobic in the small trailer that the film takes place in and be creeped out by “The Strangers” desire to hunt and stalk rather than go right for the kill every time. Often times “The Strangers” are more interested in watching and waiting, adding a substantial amount of suspense and tenseness to the film. Their motivation also plays perfectly into their actions in toying with the terrified family.
There are also only a couple of minor problems with the film that audiences will most likely not even be affected by. Prey at Night definitely suffers from a rushed third act and constantly uses a zooming affect that can take viewers out of the moment. Fans of the original, will also be a little sour about how the film handles the reveal of who the masked murderers are as it was always meant to be a little bit ambiguous as to who they are.
Prey at Night is exactly what most horror fans want from a sequel. It takes great elements from the original and adds something new to it. Prey at Night will definitely be a horror favorite to remember and one that audiences will undoubtedly love.