The Wrangler

Movie Review: The Strangers: Prey at Night

Photo Courtesy to Brad Miska

Photo Courtesy to Brad Miska

Gabby McCutchan, Photojournalist

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Based off a completely true story, The Strangers: Prey At Night is a sequel to the 2008 film The Strangers. The movie focuses on the story of a family in deep discontent at their relations with each other, and in a poor attempt to mend their broken nuclear family, the parents decide to take a road trip to their uncle’s trailer park and spend family time together. Nevertheless, these plans quickly fly out the window as the small family discovers the trio of masked individuals hunting them down, aiming to kill the family. Soon realizing that the invitation was a hoax to inveigle the family into the trailer park in hopes of slaughtering them, the disjointed family immediately registers the amount of teamwork they must miraculously devise before the faceless killers get to them first.

Without seeing the original Strangers movie, I blindly walked into the theater half expecting to fall asleep midway through the movie. However, I was not prepared for the notion that I later learned the hard way that I would not be sleeping that night. Like most horror films, the actual action started no less than 20 minutes after the movie started. But it was pointless attempting to predict and surmise future events that would take place, as around every corner there were always some kind of eerie music to make the audience inclined to believe something, or someone, was coming, or that someone actually was coming and the movie left no clues as to when or how it would happen, it just would.

The trio who hunts the family down is a team of murderers; however, they hunt the family alone, never giving the viewer a sense of security as to who’s with who or where any of them are. As one of the viewers who was constantly trying to piece together the puzzle pieces, Polly Bowman (10) says, “the fact that there were three people who were all masked really kept you guessing, which was pretty much pointless anyway because the moviemakers did a really good job in making you think that this was gonna happen, but in reality something completely different would occur.” The change in the relationship between the brother, played by Lewis Pullman and sister, Bailee Madison from beginning to end was an aspect of the movie that no one saw coming.

Gothic teenager Kinsey is the standard, nevertheless cliche character in any horror movie. She’s indifferent to anything that transpires among her family, and refuses to venture out and save her and her brother’s failing relationship. Feeling as though she were the black sheep of the family, Kinsey only realizes her self-worth once it comes down to actually saving her family in the face of danger. In between getting stabbed in the leg by a faceless murderer and finding her brother, Luke, half slashed to death in a pool, Kinsey understands that at this point, she is the only one who can even remotely save her family. Through countless trials between them and the masked trio, Kinsey and Luke eventually lure the murderers one by one into thinking they’re about to win, but proving them wrong at the very last second.

The Strangers: Prey at Night is an extremely stressful movie to watch, but the message of finding one’s self-worth and respect turned this movie into a heart-warming and inspiring one, at least as heart-warming as a horror movie can get.

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Movie Review: The Strangers: Prey at Night