Ian’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm honestly surprised at how much I enjoyed this as I really despised the first Strangers which was just a standard and boring home invasion film. The Stranger: Prey at Night however is such a fun and well made throwback to 70's and 80's horror films especially those of John Carpenter. No this film doesn't raise the bar or change the game and I'd only recommend it to those who enjoy slashers in general.
Prey at Night has the simple and effective premise of a damaged family about to send their troubled daughter off to boarding school spending time together at their relative's trailer park. Unfortunately surprise surprise the masked killers from the first film are here and go after them. What makes this work is I genuinely loved and cared for the four characters in the family. Sure they made dumb decisions (what kind of kids would leave their cellphones in the trailer with their parents?) but it never ruined the experience for me and in a film like this I honestly just expect it. With the setup out of the way we have the rest of the film being our masked trio of 80's music obsessed killers hunting down the family of four. Incredibly fun and fast paced the film never lets up leading up to the brilliant and much talked about pool scene set to Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart and the brilliant finale.
If I had any issues with the film it's that the main theme is literally a rip off of the one from John Carpenter's The Fog. I'd be fine if it was similar but it's literally almost exactly the same and it would've been nice to have something more original. Also the killer Pin-Up Girl does next to nothing compared to Man in Mask and Dollface and it would've been nice to have her have a bigger part of the film. These are both very minor problems for me however and neither bothered me much.
The Strangers: Prey at Night is just a super fun throwback to the simple slashers of old that has great style and shot composition to it that make it stand out. Johannes Roberts please don't bother with 48 Meters Down and just do more of these because I swear i'll love every single one.