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The Strangers: Prey At Night  : We’ve Met Them Before
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Friday, March 23, 2018
Johannes Roberts
Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison, Lewis Pullman

Someone called Uncle Marvin has invited the family to stay the night. It’s so eerie that when the family of four can’t find Uncle Marvin but still stays the night at a deserted trailer park, you want to ask them, ‘Why are you doing this?’


Maybe they’ll answer, ‘Why not?’ Which is precisely the exchange between disgruntled teenager Kinsey and the wanton killer she faces. Why are you doing this, she asks the killer. Why not, is the answer.


Keep on with the same questions. Ask yourself why you’re watching a film that hasn’t got any new kind of scarein it and you could tell yourself, why not?


It all begins with a regular set of parents who work and save to give their kids the best that they themselves didn’t get. Kinsey is being dropped off to a boarding school she doesn’t want to go to. You suspect she’s the kind of difficult kid who would’ve had issues even if they’d kept her home. She’s got a brother called Luke around too who wonders why he can’t stay and play with his friends, why does he have to go with them?


At the foggy, dimly lit, lonely trailer park that’s miles from anywhere, Kinsey as usual acts up and goes off on her own. You feel like saying, she deserves what’s soon going to get but her brother joins her. And there’s a bit of hope out there when there’s some natural bonding between the two. Until they discover Uncle Marvin’s body, all carved up, pulpy and bloody. There’s a dog too but writers Bryan Bertino and Ben Ketai pretty soon forget about the poor canine.


Director Johannes Roberts sets up the creepiness in a studied, intentional way.People who should stick together when a strange girl keeps turning up at the door in such a freaky place, instead break up and wander off without even their phones.


On the loose are three pyscho killers in smiling masks and executioner’s hood with knives and axes, and mystery knocks on the door.


The rest is a gore fest that never seems to end.

Christina Hendricks as pretty mother Cindy is the most likeable. Martin Henderson as father Mike and Lewis Pullman as Kinsey’s brother Luke do their supporting acts pleasantly enough. Bailee Madison makes you want to slap her as discontented Kinsey which I guess is what she was signed up for.


For a film that’s only for horror addicts who want their routine fix, The Strangers: Prey At Night gets a 2* rating.


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author


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