REVIEW: The Strangers: Prey At Night (2018)

I went into this movie knowing pretty much nothing about it, other than the fact that it was a follow up to the 2008 original about a group of killers who are terrorizing a family for absolutely no reason other than the fact that, well, they can.

This sequel is more of the same, but also a whole hell of a lot less. We have what seems to be far too long of an opening story about a girl, Kinsie (Bailee Madison, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark) who we know automatically is a rebel. She's wearing a cutoff Ramones tee that's always falling off her shoulders, and she's sarcastic and calls her brother a queef. Plus, she fake smokes cigarettes, so you know she's troubled. Her parents are shipping her off to boarding school because she's "skipping class and getting bad grades." Ugh. We're starting with the cliche's already.

Throughout the entire hour and a half of this movie, I felt absolutely nothing for any of the characters. I don't think they intended it that way, but there's nothing to like about any of them. The family dynamic is pathetic and sad. Mom and Dad complain about being parents, but both of their kids are in their mid-to-late teens, and older brother Luke (Lewis Pullman, Battle of the Sexes) is just boring to look at. "After Luke goes to college, the house will be empty again and we can do it on the couch like we used to," quips Dad. Lame.

There are absolutely no great death scenes in the movie, and the final killer comes back what seems like a half a dozen times. It's all just kind of...meh. The soundtrack is great, though, and the swimming pool scene set to Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart is definitely a stand-out. Sadly, it's immediately hampered with gag-inducing dialog.

Overall, this movie is completely forgettable, and a lackluster follow up to what has become, in the last decade, a pinnacle of home invasion movies. Funny Games this ain't.

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