The Strangers: Prey at Night

I'm an unabashed fan of The Strangers. I consider it one of the best horror movies of the 21st century (it also holds the title of scariest movie trailer ever). Prey at Night was in development hell for the longest time, and it should've stayed there. How this movie was able to finesse its way out of being directly banished to Netflix or some other VOD service is beyond me.

Aside from the masks (are they even the same masks?) and a less-than-chilling delivery of the infamous "Is Tamara home" line, Prey at Night is so unbelievably far removed from its predecessor. It takes everything that made The Strangers so tense and effective, ties it up in a chair, and takes turns stabbing it in the abdomen.

Sometimes I felt it was trying to be tongue-in-cheek but at the same time it seems so unaware of itself that I realized that couldn't be the case. It attempts to latch onto the recent 80's nostalgia trend going on in horror, but in the end just feels wholly disingenuous. There's a Carpenter-esque score that feels less homage and more rip-off. For whatever reason, the killers now have a penchant for 80's pop music as well; I absolutely love when pop music is juxtaposed against horrifying visuals but here it's just confusing. It also (I think) tries to pay homage to horror movies at some points, but again I couldn't tell if it was that or plagiarism.

The one star is for the pool fight scene surrounded by neon lights with Total Eclipse of the Heart as the soundtrack.

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