The Strangers: Prey at Night


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Spoilers ahead so I'll just put my entire review in the spoiler tag. Not that there's anything to spoil.


What I cannot get over is the premise: The evil home invaders are stalking the victims in an abandoned trailer park. I have been to occupied trailer parks that are more poorly maintained than this abandoned one. All of the mobile homes are well maintained, the shop is well maintained, the pool is perfectly maintained, all the lawns are mowed, etc.

The death of the mother was idiotic. OK, she lets her daughter escape through the skylight as the woman killer walks in the room with a knife. Idiot victim just stands there looking up at her daughter so she can be stabbed in the back repeatedly. No. If I've got my back to the wall, and someone advances on me with murderous intent, they have a fight on their hands. I'm not an intimidating figure by any means. I'm not saying I would be putting the smack down on anyone. But I'm not going to stand there and let someone knife me to death. I'm fighting back with everything I have and I am fighting dirty. The first thing I do is go for the eyes.

As usual, we have the stupid trope of the victims not killing the villain. At one point, the brother and sister are being stalked by a blonde woman. The older teen boy won't shoot her. For crying out loud she is advancing on you with a knife. She murdered your mother. Her comrades severely injured your father. She is planning on brutally killing you. SHOOT HER IN THE FACE!

Why did none of the Strangers work together at any point? We never see them together at all. Seems like they would have been more effective had they teamed up.

Finally, with the two women killers dead, our Final Girl causes an explosion where the male killer is trapped in a burning truck. He survives the burns, chases her in the truck, gets out of the truck holding an axe... and then drops to his knees. He is severely burned. He pulls a large shard of glass from his stomach and collapses, dropping the axe. Does she grab the axe and chop his head off? Nope. She runs away.

Because we have not used up enough horror tropes, the male killer gets up, no-sells his catastrophic injuries, and runs after her swinging the axe. I guess this takes place in the same universe as The Warriors video game for PS2, and he got his hands on of some Flash. (That was a great game and I just wanted to reference it.) So he chases after her, gets hit with a baseball bat and falls out of the truck... dead???

The ending has the Final Girl watching over her brother in the hospital. Someone bangs on the door to the room. She has a terrified expression as the movie ends. Um, it's probably a nurse coming to check on you, moron. No reason to be scared.

The alternate ending on the DVD is much worse. She opens the door, to see The Strangers have painted a smiley face on the door. Lights go out one by one, she screams, cut to black. So the male stranger survives his catastrophic injuries and kills everyone in the hospital, including armed security, to go after her again. Because that makes sense.

The teenage daughter in the movie is wearing a Ramones shirt.

Naturally, this reminded me of @D.W.'s awesome rant in a Tirades podcast.

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