The Strangers: Prey at Night: 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.
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 do 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 very old.
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 are 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 simply are not much of a threat. Christina Hendricks as the mother, in particular, looks like she could snap them in two like a twig.
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.
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.
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 terribly 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?