Friday, October 12, 2018

Phil's Halloween Horror Watch: THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT (2018) from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment - October 12, 2018

Starring Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison, Lewis Pullman, Damian Maffei, Emma Bellomy, Lea Enslin
Written by Bryan Bertino, Ben Ketai (based on characters by Bryan Bertino)
Cinematography by Ryan Samul
Edited by Martin Brinkler
Produced by Jalen Headchop, Wayne Marc Godfrey, Mark Lane, Robert Jones, Ryan Kavanaugh
Directed by Johannes Roberts
Released by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Hello again folks and welcome to Day 12 of my Halloween Horror Watch! Are we having fun yet? Well, you should be! If not, maybe you should take a mini-vacation or get away for the weekend. However, you should be careful, because you never know who or whom you'll meet along the way. All this brings me to today's film. The follow up sequel to the 2008 classic, THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT could be seen as a cautionary tale about heading out for a family vacations.

The film's official synopsis: A family's road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family's every limit as they struggle to survive.

Right from the beginning, the film has the aesthetic of a 70's horror film, right down to it's logo design. And I was digging it man! Over the duration of the movie, director Johannes Roberts keeps his eye of the prize; providing shocks, scares, suspense, and shenanigans to keep horror fans happy. Is it like the original in anyway? No, not really, While the first installment was extremely unnerving and highly suspenseful, the sequel knows exactly what it is, as that your straight forward slasher flick. And there's nothing wrong with that. His framing and compositions were great, there's plenty of chills and thrills, all the while entertaining we, the audience. If you don't believe me, go back and watch the the epic pool scene! So kudos to Mr. Roberts for doing his job correctly.

Original Theatrical Poster (2018)
Bailee Madison is stupendous as our young heroine Kinsey. Genre fan might recognize her as Sally from 2010's DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK. However, she's more well know for her TV work like Wizards of Waverly Place, R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour, Trophy Wife, The Fosters, and Good Witch. Christina Hendricks (who plays the mom Cindy) is still known as Joan Harris from the hit AMC show Mad Men, but has been recently seen on Tin Star (Elizabeth Bradshaw) and Good Girls (Beth Boland). Kinsey's brother Luke is played by Lews Pullman, and yes, he is the son of Hollywood legend Bill Pullman. You can see him currently in the new film BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE along side Jeff Bridges and Chris Hemsworth.

The movie was released to theaters earlier this year, March 9th to be exact. It went on to debut to $10.4 million during its opening weekend and grossed $29.7 million at the boxoffice. Not too bad since it only cost $5 million to make it. It received mixed reviews from fans and critics alike, but I feel like it didn't get the chance to really find its audience because it was only in theaters for maybe two months. This is what's wrong with the Hollywood system nowadays. Movies don't stay in theaters like they used to when I was younger. Movies would play for like a year, maybe two, in theaters before they would come out on home video. Now, it's about that all important opening weekend, and then we move on to the next hyped release.

I picked up the Unrated Blu-Ray edition that includes some cool special features: a digital copy of The Strangers: Prey at Night - Unrated Version (Subject to expiration. Go to for details), Alternate Ending, "Prep for Night" Music Video - Director's Cut, "A Look Inside The Strangers: Prey at Night" feature, "Family Fights Back" feature, and "The Music of The Strangers: Prey at Night" feature.

THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT is an intense  thrill ride of a slasher movie that's short on plot but makes up in sheer joy and enthusiasm! While not on par with the original, it does the job of checking off the boxes of what horror fans like! So don't really pay attention to all the negative reviews or press and go watch the movie yourself and make your own judgment! I liked it and I wish I saw it on the big screen when it came out earlier this year! Why you ask? Because it's a fun horror movie! That's why! 4 out of 5 stars! Highly recommended!! 

THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT is available on Blu-Ray and DVD from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. To purchase a copy for yourself, visit your local retailer or on VOD, iTunes, and Digital Download.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the horror!

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