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A MOVIE REVIEW OF THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT
It's not often that a film critic gives a sequel a D minus and sees it as a vast improvement over the original, but here we are. The original The Strangers was slow, with characters I did not care about and the serquel was no exception.
The signature of these films seems to be don't feel like a slasher/ horror movie in the early goings. Perhaps this could be several factors. A lot of horror films from the '70s and '80s had that gritty, cool, and dark aesthetic. This film was made in 2018 and it shows in the fact that it looked so clean and crisp.
When the family is in the car together early on in the film the vibes almost feel like it's trying to be a drama more than a horror film. Even before meeting the killers, most slasher films still feel like slasher films. If you're going to play up the drama, best make sure you have interesting and empathetic characters.
This film had none of that. Even one death scene that should have been impactful by one character reverting to childhood by witnessing the murderer still left me feeling like a spectator and not engaged, like in the original Child's Play, my heart bleeding for Andy and his mother and even Aunt Maggie. Even John had me sad to see him go.
It was a moment where I saw the merit of why it would work for an audience, but I did not care in the slightest. The best part of the film was the man in the mask. His sack head Jason/ David Cronenberg killer in Nightbreed aesthetic looked cool and his Michael Myers stillness, coldness, and indifference toward humanity gave the killer a nice look and ]feel.
He was chilling. The blonde killer girl was okay, better than the boring pin-up girl. There was some kind of character shift. She was smiling and we saw blood on her teeth. It was supposed to be creepy, but as young and pretty as she was, she almost felt sympathetic and innocent in a twisted way.
There was a nice twist at the end and the confrontation in the pool had potential. Overall, needed to make sure the desired effect was achieved before the actual decent kills and decent scares worked later.
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