It always amazes me in slasher films that no one in a small rural area has a gun to protect themselves and if they do it’s always in the hands of someone who acts like he’s too scared to shoot the person that is trying to kill them. The Strangers: Prey at Night is about a family going to visit their aunt and uncle’s trailer park before sending their bitchy rebellious daughter to boarding school so she can learn how to properly smoke a cigarette. While at the trailer park, they run into a trio of killers known as Dollface, Pin-Up Girl, and Potato Sack Jason. The killers have an urge for 80s pop music and putting knives to faces. The family must survive a night of hell in the middle of nowhere with no way to contact for help.
Horror movie tropes are fine if you are being self-aware but you can’t use them in a serious matter in 2018 and expect people to take you seriously. Falling down, splitting up when you are in clear danger, investigating strange noises when someone is trying to kill you. All of these things make for a frustrating watch. I mean when someone has just killed your mother and it is currently stabbing your sister, and you have a loaded gun in your hand…TAKE THE SHOT.
The killers almost have a personality to make this one memorable. Dollface is the only one who shows her face but she is relegated to the weird chick with no real explanation on why she has an urge for death. Pin up girl is in the movie for about 2 minutes and she is taken out rather easily and then you have Potato Sack Jason, who could have carried this film on his own, but I guess they didn’t want to deal with any copyright lawsuits from Warner Bros. Entertainment.
If we are going to continue to get home invasion horror movies, can we start getting somewhere the owners are armed to the teeth? If you just want a horror film or a slasher movie to enjoy, there are worse films out there. You do connect with the kids a bit once they finally decide to fight back. The Strangers: Prey at Night isn’t awful, but takes too long in a short movie to find it’s groove.
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