Movie Review: Aviron Pictures' The Strangers: Prey At Night

The Strangers: Prey At Night
CAST: Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison, Lewis Pullman
DIRECTOR: Johannes Roberts
WRITERS: Bryan Bertino and Ben Ketai
PRODUCERS: Wayne Marc Godfrey, James Harris, Robert Jones, Mark Lane
RELEASE DATE: March 9, 2018
RUN TIME: 81 Minutes
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. Johannes Roberts directs this horror film inspired by the 2008 smash hit THE STRANGERS.

The Strangers: Prey at Night, directed by Johannes Roberts, brings back with a vengeance the masks ruthless killers we got the know in the popular 2008 cult film. This installment features a family that decides to stay at an abandoned trailer park during their road trip (awesome idea right?). After a woman knocks on their door and discovers they are home, the family is paid a visit by three masked psychopaths and must try to survive. But that is sort of the genius of the film, that they don’t try to complicate it with too many characters or extra flare. If you were not aware there was an older version of this movie, I could see a making a connection between the villains in this movie and the killers in The Purge. However, our masked murders in The Strangers are killing for no other reason that they feel like it.

Although the original film's director is not working on the sequel, he did co-write the script with Ben Ketai. That being said, it has the same gritty feel as the horror flicks from the 90’s and early 2000’s. There is no unnecessary fluff or ridiculous back story to this one. It is straight to the point – you meet the Mr. and Mrs. and their kiddos. One teenager of course has a chip on their shoulder…then the killing quickly commences. I personally was refreshed and enjoyed the simplicity of the film.

Christine Hendricks portrays the Mother of Kinsey and Luke (the teenage children). Baliee Madison and Lewis Pullman (the son of known actor Bill Pullman) do a pretty great job with their roles as the teenagers and you find yourself either wanting to yell at them to run or cheering them on try and get the upper hand on one of the killers. In particular, Luke gets you emotionally involved in the film. At some points are frustrated with him as his character is a little whishy-washy; then all of the sudden he finds weapon of choice and gets in the game. I was a little disappointed with the performance of Martin Henderson as Mike the Father. I struggled to really care about his character as I didn’t feel like he was as engaging as the others.

Something that quickly stood out to me about the film was the clever use of music. There is something fun about the contrast of listening to “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tiffany or “Total Eclipse of The Heart” by Bonnie Tyler while you are watching someone get chased down and murdered by a madman in a gunnysack mask that adds to the flavor of the movie.

It was a great throwback feeling in the theater and you felt as if it was 2008 all over again with the cinematography and style of the movie. The was fully interacting with the film; yelling at times, screaming and jumping out of the seat at other times, and cheering where deserved. We even had a few movie-goers show up in masks from the original 2008 movie. I have to say YES YES and YES to this movie! I know it won’t be for everyone, but if you enjoy a good ol’ fashion slasher movie, The Strangers: They Prey at Night is a good time!

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