The Strangers: Prey At Night

***1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The Strangers: Prey At Night
"Fear does strange things to people, especially teenagers"

"Based On Real Events"

What does this mean? It really happened? All of it?

Copy picture

The fear of the serial killer is tried'n'true in TV cop shows and movies like Se7en, but the fear of randoms seems to be more prevalent in the States.

"Why are you doing this?" one of the killers is asked.

"Why not?"

That's a random reply.

The suspicion that this is based on a genuine case helps enormously. The family involved is believable and likeable, despite the teenage daughter being a pain.

They take a road trip to an out of season cabin park which feels like the classic location for a Sam Raimi horrorfest, but at the same time doesn't, because these people appear so convincingly normal, or even nicer than normal, which is down to good acting, understated directing and a script that stays close to the arc of the storyline - at least to begin with.

As the title suggests it takes place at night. They arrive late and by dawn it's over. Who are these attackers? Who are the randoms? How did they know anyone would be there? Is this a copycat of the Manson murders? Is this a power play for two sick chicks and a bloke in a cloth mask?

Afterwards you start picking the film to bits although at the time it felt only too real. Fear does strange things to people, especially teenagers. They make a lot of noise; their survival skills are panic based. You imagine yourself in their shoes. Would you do better? You can't answer because your heart is in your mouth.

The later stages revert to slasher cliche which is sad because the early stuff is shock solid in detail and deliverance.

Prey At Night may sound like a cracked record but what it does is let lunacy and menace loose into your innocent mind.

Reviewed on: 04 May 2018
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The Strangers: Prey At Night packshot
A family's road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive late at their cabin in the woods

Director: Johannes Roberts

Writer: Ben Ketai, original screenplay by Bryan Bertino

Starring: Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, Martin Henderson, Lewis Pullman, Emma Bellomy, Damian Maffei, Preston Sadleir

Year: 2018

Runtime: 85 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US

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