The Strangers: Prey at Night (R)

Horror 85 min. March 9, 2018
By Chuck Wilson
The 2008 horror movie The Strangers, which found Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman being terrorized in a remote country house by three creepily masked young people, was harsh and unnerving and, thanks to affecting work by it stars, memorably sad. The low-budget flick made big money, but somehow -- in what's surely a behind-the-scenes Hollywood story crueler than anything Strangers writer-director Bryan Bertino could get onscreen -- it's taken 10 years for a sequel to make it to theaters.
Weary of dealing with their rebellious teenage daughter Kinsey (Bailee Madison) -- you know she's badass 'cause she wears a Ramones shirt -- Cindy (Christina Hendricks) and Mike (Martin Henderson) have decided to send her to boarding school, even if they have to go bankrupt to do it. Determined to force a little family unity before she goes, they take Kinsey and her older brother Luke (Lewis Pullman) to a trailer-park campground run by Cindy's uncle.
Knock. Knock. "Is Tamara here?" The young woman (Emmy Bellomy) asking the question (as she did in the first film) has long stringy hair but her face is hidden in the shadows. The parents send her away, but she'll soon return, in a white "Dollface" mask, with two murderous pals in tow -- "Pin-Up Girl" (Lea Enslin) and the guy in the smiley-face burlap mask (Damian Maffei). The trio will set about hunting the family down with kitchen knives and an ax, but not before taunting them with 1980s rock anthems and out-of-the-shadows jump scares. The Strangers: Prey at Night has a slow and rather grim first half, but then, in the home stretch, takes a welcome turn into the seriously silly.
Johannes Roberts Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison, Lewis Pullman, Damian Maffei, Leah Roberts Ben Ketai, Bryan Bertino Wayne Marc Godfrey, James Harris, Robert Jones, Mark Lane Aviron Pictures


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