Review: “The Strangers: Prey At Night” swings and misses as a slasher movie

In Arts & Entertainment, Film & TV, Lifestyle, Reviews
Three masked figures hold knives and an ax.
Courtesy of Rogue Pictures

After Johannes Roberts’ directed the 2017 shark thriller “47 Meters Down,” he seemed to have the experience necessary to make a solid horror film. However, his newly released film “The Strangers: Prey At Night” is by far the worst film of the year.

“The Strangers: Prey At Night” is a boring, ineffective horror film that lacks suspense. Even as a common slasher film, it fails to evoke any fear and makes for a very lackluster movie.

Released ten years after the original, “The Strangers” (2008), (which still has quite a cult following), the follow-up replaces all of the suspense with predictable jump scares. For an R-rated film, the blood and violence in the movie are tame.

In the 2018 film, a family of four travels to an abandoned trailer park to stop for the night before continuing to their destination. The actors who play the teenagers perform their characters horrendously. During a scene when the teens are being chased and attacked by killers, they fail to garner sympathy because of their lack of charisma.

The film’s soundtrack caters to the fad of the ‘80s craze that’s been popularized by movies and TV shows such as “Stranger Things,” “It” and “Thor: Ragnarok.” Instead of a fitting soundtrack to match the suspense and eeriness, ‘80s love ballads underscore the film.

In the final act, one of the main characters finds himself trapped in a pool lounge with no way out. Then, out of nowhere, one of the killers appears carrying an ax.

Usually in a scene like this, the audience might expect darkness, dread, agony or a great score to add to the suspense, but none of that unfolds. Instead, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler plays.

This was the lowest point of the film because the scene was clearly made to cater to people who dig the ‘80s nostalgia fad. Ten years from now, this scene will be notorious for mediocrity.

Throughout the film, the main characters play into senseless horror tropes. One of the siblings, Luke (Lewis Pullman), finds a loaded gun in a trailer, and later, when Luke is talking with his sister Kinsee (Bailee Madison), he places the gun on a table in front of him. Suddenly, one of the killers drives his truck into the trailer, and while running away Luke leaves the gun behind for the antagonist to take.

“The Strangers: Prey At Night” is terrible with no redeeming qualities. When going to the theaters this weekend, look for others films to watch and skip this film at all costs.

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