The Strangers: Prey at Night ★★★★½

A highly stylized slice of blood-drenched neon that ditches the majority of the home invasion aspects for slasher mayhem—particular 70’s and 80’s Hooper and Carpenter influences and I’m all about it. Works for me far more than it’s predecessor (which I liked) did, mixing in grim situations with 80’s pop song deaths, tons of fog and killers silhouetted by it, genre satire, numerous slow zoom ins, excellent lighting, a piano jam that owes a lot to The Fog, and one holy fuck pool scene I won’t forget anytime soon as it pushed me from ‘like’ territory to the ‘LOVE’ zone. For the most part, post scream slashers haven’t aged very well for me, so a nice little throwback mask murder jam like this was just what I neeed.

Mean spirited but still manages to be ‘fun’ (if that makes any sense???) and joins the likes of The Guest as Carpenter influenced jams of the 2010’s that 100% work for me without feeling like a cheap riff—at least to me. Basically what I’m saying is: this and Happy Death Day are exactly the kind of sand I need to even out the scales between straightforward murder jams and dread induced slow burns (which I’m also very much a fan of). I’ll definitely be revisiting this soon and welcome more slasher films in this vein.

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