|Directed by||:||Johannes Roberts||Produced by||:||James Harris Wayne, Marc Godfrey||Based on||:||Characters by Bryan Bertino||Starring||:||Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison, Lewis Pullman||Cinematography||:||Ryan Samul||Production company||:||The Fyzz Facility White Comet Films BLOOM|
The Strangers: Prey at Night Review – You’ll Be Breathless From Start to Finish
Cindy (Christina Hendricks) and Mike (Martin Henderson) are the parents of teens Kinsey (Bailee Madison) and Luke (Lewis Pullman). Kinsey is at the age where she’s pulling away from her mom, sulking, and getting into trouble with the bad crowd. The last thing she wants to do is go on a long road trip with her mom and dad and brother, but she’s not given a choice. Along the way they’ll be visiting their mom’s elderly aunt and uncle, who operate a mobile home motel in the middle of nowhere. Whoopee!
The family arrives to the park late. It’s dark, and they’re exhausted. There’s a note for Cindy in the manager’s office along with a key to trailer #47. They’re instructed to go on in. They do, and right away there’s something amiss. For one thing, the entire complex seems to be deserted. Even Cindy’s relatives’ trailer is dark and eerily silent. When the family steps into their trailer, it appears someone has recently left. There’s half-eaten Chinese takeout in the fridge, and the place looks lived in. But they’re not alarmed until there’s a knock at the door. Cindy answers it, noting the porch light is broken, and sees the silhouette of a blonde teenager girl standing just beyond the doorway. “Is Tamara home?” the stranger asks, her voice flat and lifeless. If you’ve seen The Strangers (2008), then you know exactly where this is going. Yup! Straight to a night of pure hell.
Regardless of whether you’ve seen the original The Strangers, and regardless of whether you liked it or not, The Strangers: Prey at Night does a dang good job of staying true to the original’s roots while forging its own identity. Bryan Bertino, the writer-director of the first, co-wrote this one with Ben Ketai; but Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down) sits in the director’s chair this time. He adds his own unique visual stamp while also wearing his heart for John Carpenter movies very much on his bloodied sleeves. You’ll see joyful homage to Halloween and Christine.