A family’s road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with some relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit that will test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive.
Is It Any Good?
Nostalgia runs amok in The Strangers 2: Prey At Night. If the weapon wielding maniacs don’t scare you (and they probably won’t) the countless horror movie references will. From its very opening scenes, Johannes Roberts’s film nods to horror classics such as Friday the 13th, Halloween, The Fog, Christine, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Scream.
So far, so so derivative.
A sequel to 2008’s (low budget, hugely profitable) The Strangers, there is so much nodding going on that it's a wonder the film doesn’t lose its head. Except that, in terms of narrative, it pretty much does.
Characters do (and say) ludicrously stupid things (eye roll), masked baddies are always around the corner no matter where you run (another eye roll) and no one stays dead if it suits the plot (double eye roll).
However, Strangers 2 is not wholly without merit. In an age of fairly bloodless horror movies, it’s ‘nice’ to have a good old fashioned slasher back on our screens. There are some nasty set piece thrills here.
I also appreciated the fact that, for a time, the injuries that are sustained seem painful and have consequences. It always annoys me when someone gets stabbed in the leg and then runs around with the speed and agility of an athlete. Surely that would smart.
Meanwhile, I’m often complaining that horror movies don’t take the time to make us care about their characters. Strangers 2 at least tries to develop its central family - giving them an understandable reason to be in the abandoned trailer park.
I’d even go so far as to suggest that the film takes a little too long to get going (there’s just no pleasing me is there). Sadly, despite this investment, we care very little about this family (case in point: I can’t remember any of their names).
Strangers 2: Prey at Night contains a couple of genuinely crowd pleasing moments (proof that horror is best seen in a packed cinema). There are opportunities to whoop and laugh with your fellow audience members before you emerge from the screening and instantly forget the movie you just watched.
The beginning of Strangers 2 informs us that the movie is “based on true events”. It is not. In an interview with Metro US, director Johannes Roberts explains that his film is true in the same way that the original Strangers movie was true.
In short, screenwriter, Bryan Bertino, had a girl come up to his house and knock at the door at a time when there was a spate of burglaries in the area. He then mixed this experience with what Roberts describes as “Charles Manson stuff”.
It will surprise exactly no one that Roberts always wanted the make a John Carpenter-esque movie.
Bryan Bertino’s The Strangers was released in 2008. It cost approximately $9m to make and made $82m at the global box office.
Have you seen The Strangers 2: Prey At Night? If you have, what did you think of this movie? Let me know in the comments section below or you can find me on Twitter @500DaysOfFilm.