The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018) Review

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Sheena Is a Spree Killer

The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018): 4 out of 10: A nuclear family stop by a trailer park to visit their aunt and uncle on the way to take their teenage daughter to a boarding school. At the trailer park, they are menaced by The Strangers, a trio of silent masked killers.

Christina Hendricks and Bailee Madison as mother and daughter.

The Good

The Good: The last fifteen minutes or so it almost seems the film changed directors and screenwriters as an almost artistic gonzo experience appears on the screen.

If you like eighties soundtracks this movie has a pretty good one. I admit that in the eighties horror movies used to use fifties soundtracks in the same way, so I guess this is both fair and a conspiracy to make me feel ancient.

I love this trailer park pool. Too bad it takes so long for the characters to find it.

The Bad

The Bad: Whom am I supposed to be rooting for here? The main family is, at best, bland and cliched; The killers are silent, boring and honestly stupid. I have no dog in this fight.

One of the main issues is that two of the three killers, Pin-Up Girl and Dollface, are skinny teenage girls. The movie runs into the Chucky problem, where one wonders why someone just doesn’t dropkick them into the next county. One on one, they are not much of a threat. Christina Hendricks as the mother, in particular, looks like she could snap them in two like a twig. 

Christina Hendricks seriously could bench press some of the serial killers.

I admittedly did not see the first Strangers movie, so I did not come into this with a predisposed fear of smiley faces and emaciated teenage girls wearing porcelain doll masks. Admittedly, to me, the masks are less scary than an indication that the killer has zero peripheral vision.

Is this Dollface or
Pinup? I mean, it could be either?

The Ugly

The Ugly: This was a theatrical release? It’s seven actors in a trailer park. There is no nudity, very little violence, the kills are not creative at all and the killers look like trick or treaters. Good Lord, I would have hated to be the theater manager that weekend. 

Emma Bellomy is 5′ 9″ and about 120 pounds. I mean, she could ruin your credit and isolate you from your friends. I just don’t see the stabby threat part.

In Conclusion

In Conclusion: Somehow a Lionsgate style direct to video sequel got a wide release in theaters. The acting is decent and the last bit threatens to be entertaining, but this is a mediocre slasher movie. Nothing memorable happens for most of the movie. I mean, you have a budget and actors and are filming a movie. Would it kill you to jazz it up a bit?

So is this Dollface? Anyway, Lea Enslin plays Pin-up Emma Bellomy plays Dollface. If there was a place where intersectional casting (or at least intersectional masks), would have come in handy, it is this film. Can’t keep my cis murdering white girls straight here.
These actors know they are playing father and daughter in this film, right?
Okay, we are going to have to have a talk. Martin Henderson is married to Christina Hendricks, but he never stares at her with smoldering eyes. His daughter Bailee Madison on the other hand…
Bailee Madison wears the same Ramones shirt throughout the movie, and for some reason it became a low grade irritation that brought out my irrational gatekeeping. (I bet you don’t know even one Ramones song)
The last fifteen minutes of this movie are from a completely different (and more entertaining) film.
When swimming lessons go bad.
The Dodge Propane was never a reliable pickup.
The movie has morphed into Christine. Talk about your eighties flashbacks.
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