In all of the years I’ve been watching horror films, I can’t recall a more anticipated and sought after sequel. Think about it. In this genre, fans loathe remakes with ferocious passion and sequels are not that far behind on the hatred meter. At least, that’s how it used to be. It always seemed to be the opposite when it came to The Strangers, however. It feels as if as soon as the first one was released and reached its status as a “cult classic,” fans were ready for more. Finally, after a decade of being teased by a follow-up, The Strangers: Prey at Night hit theaters and now home video. Did it live up to the hype?
Kinsey (Bailee Madison, Don’t be Afraid of the Dark) is packed up and being shipped off to boarding school. Not before her family makes a pit stop, overnight, at their relatives’ mobile home park though. The family soon realizes the community isn’t as abandoned as they thought, however, as they begin to be terrorized by a group of masked strangers.
It has to be extremely difficult to live up to any kind of decade-long hype that was pumped into The Strangers by diehard fans. Even still, director Johannes Roberts decided to take on the task of attempting to do so, and if you ask me, the man more than delivered. The Strangers: Prey at Night is, to me, a bigger and better version of the first film in every way. Instead of a secluded house far from any type of civilization, Dollface, Pin-up Girl, and Man in the Mask have an entire trailer park to chase their victims around in; instead of only a couple of potential kill-scenes, we see an entire family, among some other innocent bystanders, ripe for the picking; the cinematography work is beautiful, the special effects are gruesome, and the acting is superb. Not to mention the incredibly fitting score and even more enjoyable 80’s themed soundtrack. This film has everything you could ask for and then some.
Prey at Night features a very talented cast who are no strangers, themselves, to the horror genre. We all knew the actors playing the masked antagonists were going to be fun as hell to watch on-screen again, but I have to give immense amounts of credit to the family composed of Martin Henderson (The Ring), Christina Hendricks (The Neon Demon), Lewis Pullman, and of course, Bailee Madison, who has been performing in horror flicks since she was about 10 years old. I found all of their actions and reactions as a terrified family quite authentic, given the circumstances they found themselves in, and a pleasure to watch.
Johannes Roberts has certainly done The Strangers film series immense justice with his sequel. The special effects were beautifully horrifying with each death out-doing the last and the choice of songs such as Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and Air Supply’s “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” were genius. I can honestly say, after two viewings of this film, I 100% love everything about it. It was well worth the wait, and I would wait another 10 years, if it would mean I could get another sequel as good as this one.
Be sure to pick up your copy of the film, coming to Blu-ray, DVD, and On-demand this Tuesday, June 12, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
I cannot recommend The Strangers: Prey at Night enough and give it a final Repulsive Rating of 5 blood-filled swimming pools out of 5.