- Bailee MadisonChristina Hendricks...
- Johannes Roberts
- In 1 Cinema
What happens when a horror film stitches together several parts and themes from other older horror films? Well, you get the film The Strangers: Prey at Night, a non-scary and unoriginal horror film.
The Strangers: Prey at Night is the sequel to horror success The Strangers (2008); as such, it was expected to evoke at least the same reaction as its, highly successful and incredibly original, predecessor. The film follows a family consisting of father Mike (Martin Henderson), mother Cindy (Christina Hendricks), rebellious daughter Kinsey (Bailee Madison), and rule-abiding son Luke (Lewis Pullman). The family move to a trailer park and face off against three delinquent masked killers.
While it is interesting that all the film’s events unfold on one fateful night, the repetitive nature of the film’s setting and mise en scène get extremely boring.
Speaking of the mise en scène, two of the killers wear porcelain doll masks that are quite eerie, and thereby fulfill their purpose. The third killer, however, has some sort of cloth bag over his head; given that he is supposed to be the most terrifying of the killers, the bag wasn’t the best of props to use.
Moreover, all three killers’ demeanours and mannerisms seem very familiar to anyone who has ever seen a horror movie; they are repeated and altered versions of several menacing killers, featured in many other horror films.When asked about their motivation for killing the family, one of the killers says, “why not?” This answer reveals a gap in the movie’s story line: the story line fails to develop any sort of motivation and/or context for the killers’ actions.
What the film sought to achieve is a sense of lunacy and urge for violence, such as the ones mastered by The Purge franchise, but what the film actually ended up executing was a cheap copy of The Purge. On the plus side, the film was able to hold audiences’ breaths for some time, with its systematic horror film formula.
As per the acting, Martin Henderson and Christina Hendricks had small roles, but they each managed to play their parts well. Lewis Pullman also did a good job with a natural performance, which helped make his character likable and relatable. Bailee Madison was the main issue;while she was allotted the biggest on-screen time, her performance was completely over the top, incredibly fake, and quite annoying. Indeed, Madison constantly reminded the audience that this is a film, and that she is merely acting (and not doing a very good job at it).
Overall, the film is a thrill to watch and is home to some suspenseful sequences, but will it haunt us forever? Well, not really.