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Film Review: “The Strangers: Prey at Night” (2018) ★★★★


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Watching an entire family get brutally killed one by one is a hard thing and absolutely not for those with weak nerves. The worst part is that these killings are done by senseless cowards who hide behind masks. When the victim asks: “Why are you doing this?” the response to the question is even more shocking that one can imagine. “Why not?” asks the masked murdered in reply. After watching a scene like that, what else can one add? Perhaps, for us as viewers, there is nothing left but to cherish a hope that someone will be strong and desperate enough to fight hard against those who enjoy this sick cat-and-mouse game with their targets. Of course, we can only hope that the good will prevail in the end. But will it happen or not is a separate subject for discussion

But let us put aside the fictional story for a moment. How often do we witness stories where the good ones get up and stand tall while the evil gives up? The history of mankind, as well as the world cinema, prove that this does not happen as often as we’d like to see. And even when it does happen, the feeling of satisfaction for the victory is temporary, as it soon gets replaced by fear and horror that remained a companion for many people for the rest of their lives.

The horror movie “The Strangers: Prey at Night” directed by Johannes Roberts is an admirable sequel to “Strangers” (2008). It focuses on the same concept, yet includes more blood and an endless number of slashing. At the same time, the film is surprisingly engaging, absorbing, and truly scary. I would like to mention the soundtrack of the film. It is obvious, that the creators have paid special attention and great care when selecting the music from the 80s. You will hear “Total Eclipse of The Heart” by Bonnie Tyler,  which makes sure that the film takes its viewer on a journey, which not only shows brutal massacre but creates atmosphere through music and in general, is a truly stylish ride.

The plot of the film is very simple and straightforward. We follow the story of a family that is spending their evening at a deserted mobile home park that belongs to their uncle and aunt, who are long dead. By the way, we find out that they have been killed by three masked killers – Dollface, Pin-Up Girl, and the Man in the Mask. Soon, the family weekend turns into an unequal battle for survival where not everyone is meant to succeed and survive.

I could continue this review by bringing up more details about how Mike (Martin Henderson), Cindy (Christina Hendricks), and their children (Bailee Madison and Lewis Pullman) ended up in that desert. But that will be a spoiler which is not fair to the film. However, there is one fact you should know ahead of time before you decide whether to watch this film or not. If you find it difficult to handle violent scenes, do not watch this movie at night!

In conclusion, “The Strangers: Prey at Night” is one of the rare examples when the viewer will be pleased watching a sequel, and the impression of the first film will not be lost. This film is not only worth your time, but it truly embraces the sense of the horror genre. In addition, it has a great soundtrack, is able to hold the viewer engaged throughout the film as, through the silver screen, it manages to transport you to the deserted mobile home park where you find yourself and the characters alone with three insane people. I am still puzzled why they have chosen the act of killing as part of their daily entertainment and how that is justified through their cold-blooded actions.

Having that said, Johannes Roberts truly deserves appreciation for what he has done with the film. Many might start watching this film expecting to get disappointed, but I am sure you all will be surprised in a best way possible. And how could not you?

 

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