The Strangers: Prey at Night ★½

Y'all know how much I love these cheap horror movies, but this was tough to get through. I don't want to imply that the script itself was good (it was not), but this has got to be some of the worst horror direction I've ever seen. Roberts' work on 47 Meters Down was even better than this, and that was a mess as it was. The coverage of basic dialogue scenes is bizarre and disorienting, and the way he shoots the actual action is just lifeless. There are so many moments here that could've been so campy and wild, but instead, they're just boring.

The movie is only about 80 minutes, but it's more than 20 minutes in until any of the horror elements get going. There's no tension -- we jump straight from tedium to brutality, but it's not even scary. I could complain endlessly about how little sense everyone's motivations make, even by B-movie horror standards. The attempt to insert several emotional sequences, as well, was genuinely laughable. My theater tried to get into this, applauding at some of the fight scenes later on, but even that felt forced. I've never heard so many people yell variations of "Just shoot her!" at the same time.

The original film, like it or not, is an exercise in tension and paranoia. This is just a couple kids in masks fighting other kids. While that still could've been fun, poor execution on all fronts makes it an extremely underwhelming experience. 

Rating: 27/100

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