The story follows a mother of two who inherits a home from her aunt. On the first night in the new home, she is confronted with murderous intruders and fights for her daughters' lives. ... See full summary »
A family's road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park 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.Written by
Ten years ago as an impressionable teenager, I saw "The Strangers" at a midnight showing with one of my best friends. To date, it stands as the most taut moviegoing experience of my life. After nearly a decade of production hell, the sequel-"The Strangers: Prey at Night" has finally come out of the woodwork. This followup has the same trio of villains pursuing victims in cat-and-mouse games, but this time it's an entire family staying at a deserted resort who are the target.
Perhaps I'm biased because I truly love the original film, but I found "Prey at Night" to be a significant letdown as a followup to Bryan Bertino's 2008 film, which was a masterful exercise in tension. I was skeptical of a sequel even being possible given how well Bertino exercised his formula in the first film-what else could really be done? "Prey at Night" essentially takes the formula of the first film, dresses it in de rigeur '80s style (complete with an exclusive '80s soundtrack), and amplifies the gore. It's mostly in good fun-but it's also completely devoid of suspense, tension, and unease.
There are a few sequences that are masterfully-executed-including a protracted sequence in a neon-lit swimming pool, and a mother-daughter attack in a trailer- but the in-between that stitches these better scenes together is repetitive and predictable, and the cinematography often gives the feel of a made-for-TV movie. The characters are also an issue in that they feel too much like stock characters; the lead being a chain-smoking bratty teenage girl running around in a Ramones t-shirt, followed by her likable brother, and two hip parents who are in the process of carting little-miss-trouble off to boarding school. In spite of the contrived characters, the acting is fairly good from all involved, including the actors portraying the three strangers.
There are a few moments of true tragedy and true catharsis in the film which are well-orchestrated, but I cannot help but compare "Prey at Night" to its predecessor. This sequel is a very different film that has its hits, but it frankly has more misses. As a frivolous run-of-the-mill slasher, it's rather enjoyable, but it lacks the emotional gravitas that made the first film so arresting and nerve-shredding. 5/10.
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