The horror genre continues to try and limp its way back into the limelight, and outside of the promise of a cheap gimmick, they continue to barely hold a place in Hollywood. Yet the dark stories they try to sell us are often enough to hook many in tackling the potential scares to see how the cast will do against the supernatural odds. Strangers: Prey At Night is going to attempt to bait many to come into the theaters this weekend and yours truly is back with another review to help you determine is this the movie for you. Let’s get this started, shall we?
-Quick Run Time
-The 80’s soundtrack
-Wraps Up, kind of
The Strangers doesn’t pull any punches in regards to getting the horror themes started. A looming threat of death keeps the movie at a good pace, almost like the most dangerous game coming to life with a soap opera twist. As the “heroes” try to move amidst the maze of trailers, the ever-looming dread lurking in the shadows of the Strangers hunting their prey. This fast pace keeps the film moving, and due to a wise decision to not get too ingrained in the horror elements, the movie is over pretty quickly.
Is it scary? The answer to that is surprisingly yes, but more so in how creepy the movie is. The realism of how people can go crazy and take pleasure in death to set such an elaborate trap gets to me, the chills that such sickness exists to this manner is the biggest element. As the feeling of being stranded sets in, the movie does a nice job throwing some jump scares into the mix to try and keep you on edge. So yeah, it has factors that scary.
As for the rest of the movie quirks, well the little gimmick of the soundtrack is entertaining not only in hearing legendary songs rock the theater walls, but also in how the songs match up with the mood of that scene. It makes for an interesting spin, and I liked the cheesy element adding a little class. And I always do enjoy horror movies that do an ending right and The Strangers wrap up nicely, while leaving a little mystery, shock, and suspense to sweeten the deal for those who don’t want a fairy tale ending.
–Crappy Character Development
-Unnecessary Drawn Out
The Strangers has plenty of things to improve on from the scary base it tries to establish. For one thing, I like a horror movie where I get to actually know the characters that are potentially going to diet, you know with a backstory and development. Not the case with this movie, the Strangers both hunters and hunted, are almost one-dimensional with little to no backstory. Therefore, you are just seeing strange people running around at night and potentially dying…great job guys.
The character development also isn’t the only lazy thing about this movie. The Strangers has no heart behind it, with so much of it being simplistic, gory thrills and little wit to the adventure at hand. There were too many coincidences happening from the strangers mysteriously finding them to a clever tool laying nearby. In addition, the characters were a little too stupid as well, resulting in unrealistic situations that extended the adventure, but were eye rolling more than anything. When it came to giving motives and more sinister methods, again they failed to elaborate on this, with the only answer being “Why Not”. Clever guys. In addition, the prey seemed to be demi-gods, able to not only survive pretty debilitating injuries, but somehow inconsistently respond to those wounds depending on how long they have to run.
And given all the drawn out torture, cutting, and destruction of ligaments in this movie, you would think the rest of their bodies would fail, but nope…they were just fine. And as for the torture, sometimes it was a little too spread out for me at times, and when given the realistic twist, was a direction I didn’t want to go down. Oh well, got to love deranged directing right?
The Strangers attempted to pay homage to a genre that has undergone many face lifts to keep up with the modern era, but it is grossly imbalanced to fully deliver on the promised nightmares it wanted to induce. Sure, there is suspense, a quick pace, and some creepy factors to get under your skin alongside the bloody carnage of torture. Yet, the Strangers was just lazy on so many levels, relying on too many well-timed gimmicks, one-dimensional characters, and unrealistic responses that just didn’t sell the movie. So those looking to enjoy a ridiculous man hunt with gore filled torture should go all in for this movie. However, I recommend skipping this one and rewatching the 2008 version of it instead.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 5.0