Parapsychologist Dr. Elise Rainier faces her most fearsome and personal haunting yet, as she is drawn back to her ghostly childhood home, where the terror began. 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 Aviron Pictures. 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 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? 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.
Hero Catches a Stranger's Phone While Riding Roller Coaster | Time
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A family of four staying at a secluded mobile home park for the night are stalked and then hunted by three masked psychopaths. Director: Johannes Roberts.
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