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Blu-ray Review: ‘The Strangers: Prey at Night’ Will Make You Second-Guess Answering That Knock at the Door

June 20, 2018Ben MK

Family vacations with a couple of teenagers in tow are stressful enough without having to deal with being chased by a group of murderous psychopaths. But in The Strangers: Prey at Night, one unsuspecting foursome discovers just how terrifying a family road trip can be.

More of a reboot than a direct sequel to 2008's The Strangers, The Strangers: Prey at Night follows husband and wife Mike and Cindy (Martin Henderson and Christina Hendricks) and their two teenage kids, the troubled Kinsey (Bailee Madison) and her older brother Luke (Lewis Pullman), as they embark on a road trip to drop Kinsey off at boarding school, stopping to visit the siblings' aunt and uncle at a trailer park along the way. Things take a dark turn, however, when they cross paths with three masked murderers (Damian Maffei, Emma Bellomy and Lea Enslin), and the family soon finds themselves in a bloody fight for their lives.

With a straightforward script by Bryan Bertino and Ben Ketai, director Johannes Roberts' stab at the slasher genre is very much an exercise in WYSIWYG filmmaking. Characters make questionable decisions, then die in gruesome ways; nothing more, nothing less. But despite the vanilla nature of its execution, The Strangers: Prey at Night still establishes enough of a unique tone for itself to make it a worthwhile watch for horror movie fans.

True to its title, The Strangers: Prey at Night takes place largely after hours, along darkened, isolated roads and within dimly-lit quarters. Consequently, there's not a lot to praise about this 1080p transfer when it comes to fine detail and color saturation, save for the opening of the film, which is set in bright daylight, and a neon-lit pool sequence that comes midway through the movie. Otherwise, the accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix does a commendable job with the sound design, which includes your standard array of screams, jump scares and spooky whispers, not to mention a car crash, a couple of shotgun blasts and an explosion, as well as an '80s-themed soundtrack featuring the likes of Kim Wilde, Bonnie Tyler and Air Supply.

Elevation Pictures' single-disc Blu-ray release presents an unrated version of the film and includes an iTunes digital copy and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Alternate Ending (1:47) - A less ambiguous version of the movie's concluding moments.
  • A Look Inside (1:47) - A brief featurette focusing on the film's plot.
  • Family Fights Back (2:00) - Another brief featurette, this time framed against the characters' struggle to survive.
  • The Music of The Strangers: Prey at Night (2:41) - Director Johannes Roberts talks about his love of '80s music and his reasons for using "Kids in America," "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "Making Love Out of Nothing at All" during key moments in the movie.
  • Director's Cut Music Video (By Mickey Keating) (2:25) - A video for the film's rendition of "I Think We're Alone Now."

The Strangers: Prey at Night is available from Elevation Pictures as of June 12th, 2018. The Blu-ray features English and French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks, and is presented with English SDH subtitles. The total runtime is 1 hr. 25 min.

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