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The Strangers: Prey at Night – Movie Review

It’s been a decade since writer/director Bryan Bertino delivered the ultra-creepy horror film, “The Strangers”.  It was a great success, earning $82.4 million worldwide.  Surprisingly, it’s taken ten years for us to get the sequel/reboot, “The Strangers: Prey at Night”.  Normally if a horror film is a hit, a sequel is churned out right away. Such was not the case here.  So, is the new film worth the long wait?  Unfortunately, not.

For whatever reason, Bertino did not come back for “Prey at Night”. This time around, Ben Ketai (“The Forrest”) wrote the screenplay and Johannes Roberts (“47 Meters Down”) helmed the film.  That alone right there should give you a clear picture about the quality of “Prey at Night”.

The first film centered on a couple being harassed by three masked psychopaths in their home.  It was incredibly tense and horrifying.  “Prey at Night” takes place at a lake-set trailer park in which a family of four take one last trip before the children go away to school.  Bailee Madison plays the rebellious Kinsey.  She is not-too-happy about her parents Cindy and Mike (Christina Hendricks and Martin Henderson respectively) sending her off to boarding school.  Kinsey’s brother Luke (Lewis Pullman) is basically the good sibling in the family.

Like in the original, The Strangers are made-up of three masked killers. There is the Man in the Mask who comes across as the killer daddy.  There is the Pin-Up Girl who seems to be missing through much of the film, and finally Dollface who has the most interaction with their victims.

The problem with “Prey at Night” is that it is just so dull. The runtime is only 85 minutes, but it feels like it takes forever to get going.  There is very little tension and the scares are almost non-existent.  Although “The Strangers” isn’t the type of horror film that needs much gore, why bother going for an “R” rating if you aren’t going to have some fun with the blood?

The only positive thing I can say about “Prey at Night” is that it went in a direction that I didn’t expect when it came to the title characters. However, that one element that I did like was thrown out the window in the film’s final moments.  “The Strangers: Prey at Night” is a real disappointment. I am always eager for a good theatrically released slasher film, unfortunately, this isn’t one of them.

By: Marc Ferman