May 302018

The Strangers: Prey at Night is an uneven horror-thriller with certainly some positive things that worked, counteracted by neither a plot that really wasn’t all that interesting nor anything that was nearly that terrifying.



The Strangers: Prey at Night

Genre(s): Horror, Suspense/Thriller
Universal Studios | R/Unrated – 96 min. – $35.99| June 12, 2018

Date Published: 05/30/2018 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Johannes Roberts
Writer(s): Bryan Bertino and Ben Ketai (written by)
Cast: Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison, Lewis Pullman
Features: Featurettes, Music Video, Deleted Scene
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 28.3 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 2.75/5

The Strangers: Prey at Night is the sequel to the 2008 movie that did well at the box office, but for whatever reason, stalled only to finally get released a decade later. I actually enjoyed the original Strangers for being a bit old school in its horror, focusing more on the thrills rather than blood and/or torture. The sequel, while clearly going old school with its 80s music and a teenager wearing a Ramones shirt, wasn’t nearly as good but at the same time, there were some things to admire and at least didn’t just become a remake (see Deep Blue Sea 2).

A family of four — dad Mike (MARTIN HENDERSON), mom Cindy (CHRSTINA HENDRICKS), son Luke (LEWIS PULLMAN) and daughter Kinsey (BAILEE MADISON) — set off for an overnight stay with an uncle and aunt at a trailer park that they own and is empty during the offseason (of course), afterwards dropping off Kinsey at a boarding school following a stint of bad behavior for the teen, when everything turns upside down.

The movie already opened with that couple receiving a visit from three familiar masked figures (named Dollface, Man in Mask and Pin-Up Girl) before they’re ultimately killed (off screen), where they will be discovered later. Now the family is on the run from these masked individuals with no help in sight and any communication to the outside world cut off (of course).

As with the first Strangers, this “sequel”, I put that in quotes as you can go into this one without having to see the original, is a simple movie. Deranged, yet composed, mass killers stalk innocent victims, victims attempt to escape and it’s a cat-and-mouse game from there, with the killers, for some reason, having the advantage. It’s convoluted but in a lot of ways, still entertaining.

Like I said, I actually enjoyed the original and while I didn’t dislike this overdue sequel in the slightest, it is weaker if only for the fact you have characters making really dumb decisions. Obviously, this is kind of a staple in plenty horror movies (just look at the Friday the 13th franchise) but here, I don’t know, just stuck out and I wasn’t nearly as terrified as I was with the first movie.

But other than a so-so “story” (such as it is), everything else was well played. The performances were perfectly fine with the core cast doing quite well, led by Christina Hendricks and Scott Speedman… I mean Martin Henderson… and even the two “kid” actors were decent; Bailee Madison standing out as perhaps an actress on the rise. And the masked killers? Pretty much scary at times but not much character to them… as in the original; the only detraction I can say is in the original the reason was (paraphrasing) “because you were home” and here it was just “because we can”. The latter didn’t have quite the foreboding or upsetting ring to it.

The Strangers: Prey at Night was directed by Johannes Roberts (from a script by Ben Ketai and, to some extent, Bryan Bertino) who garnered notoriety with the sneaker hit, 47 Meters Down and I actually appreciate what he attempted to do, rather than just remaking the original or even forcing some kind of back story for the killers, but gave it that 1980s flare that has become popular of late. That said, the story itself was a bit dull at times and outside of a couple surprise moments, including a fiery chase, there’s not a whole lot that stands out.



This release comes a glossy, title-embossed, slip cover; inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy along with a standard DVD.

Alternate Ending (1:51; HD) is slightly longer but even dumber than final one, if you can believe that.

“Prep for Night Music Video – Director’s Cut (2:29; HD) – This is some behind-the-scenes footage (shot grittily) set against a dark version of “I Think We’re Alone Now”. I’m all for gritty renditions of innocent songs, so that was fine, but the rest…

A Look Inside The Strangers: Prey at Night (1:50; HD) is a thin behind-the-scenes featurette with interviews by the cast talking about the plot. Worthless.

Family Fights Back (2:02; HD) another short featurette focusing on the family element as they go up against the three psycho killers.

The Music of The Strangers: Prey at Night (2:46; HD) is on the part the 1980s music plays.


VIDEO – 3.5/5

I was actually a bit disappointed with the transfer here. Prey at Night is presented in its original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer and detail at times is a bit soft and not well defined, especially compared with other new movies. That said, colors are decent, like the pool/fight scene and black levels are fairly stark and deep. There is some natural film grain or noise but nothing overly distracting.

AUDIO – 3.5/5

The disc comes with your standard and merely fine DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. The bulk of the movie is pretty much atmospheric but there is clear dialogue outputting through the center channel and rear speakers to get some utilization for the great 1980s-era music or some of the various blood-curdling screams from the trio killers victims.


OVERALL – 2.5/5

Overall, The Strangers: Prey at Night is an uneven horror-thriller with certainly some positive things that worked, counteracted by neither a plot that really wasn’t all that interesting nor anything that was nearly that terrifying. Although I didn’t care for it, I’d say it might be worthy of a rental if only for some of the 1980s influence. The Blu-ray released by Universal offers up average video and audio transfers and some thin bonus features.


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