The Strangers: Prey at Night ★★★½

Thirty minutes into this movie, I was ready to write it off as an inverse companion to Unsane, all glossy retro style with nothing to support it save for underdeveloped characters and a painfully generic approach to scaring its audience. Big mistake. This pulls off one hell of a turnaround halfway through once it decides that slow-burn horror isn’t its forte, resulting in a giddy plunge into Jim Steinman-scored bombast that leaves a trail of upended expectations in its wake. The “Total Eclipse of the Heart” scene alone is worth the price of admission, if only for the fact that it gives the greatest guilty pleasure song ever recorded the epic neon-soaked underwater knife fight climax it deserves. Extra points have been awarded for split diopter shots, because I’m easy to pander to.

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