THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT BLU RAY REVIEW (UNIVERSAL)

The Strangers: Prey at Night is a 2018 slasher film directed by Johannes Roberts (The Other Side of the Door, 47 Metres Down, & Storage 24) . This is a sequel to 2008’s The Strangers. It was originally announced right after the original film’s release. Before the script was re-written, Liv Tyler was going to return in a cameo for this. It was co-written by Bryan Bertino who directed the first film & created the horror series. Laurent Briet was the original choice for director but after the project being delayed that all changed. None of the original strangers returned to their roles & they were all recasted for this sequel. The budget was 5 million & the follow up made 4 million on it’s opening day with $610,000 from Thursday night previews almost making all it’s money back right away. It ended grossing $29 million worldwide becoming a major success for the studio & producers.

Dollface (played by: Emma Bellomy from Before the Dark & Smoketown), Pin Up Girl (played by: stunt woman Lea Enslin from The Walking Dead & Gerald’s Game), & the Man in the Mask (played by: Damian Maffei from Ghost Lake, Nikos the Impaler, Christmas with the Dead, & Closed for the Season) are back! They terrorize a couple in a secluded trailer park. Cindy (played by: Christina Hendricks from Mad Men, Drive, The Neon Demon, & Bad Santa 2), Mike (played by: Martin Henderson from The Ring, Smokin’ Aces, Devil’s Knot, & Grey’s Anatomy), Kinsey (played by: Bailee Madison from Brothers, Just Go with It, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, & Good Witch), & Luke (played by: Lewis Pullman from Bad Times at the El Royale, Aftermath, The Ballad of Lefty Brown, & Battle of the Sexes) are taking a family trip to their relatives trailer. They are spending time together before Kinsey goes to boarding school. They get to their location a little late & someone knocks on the door. Cindy answers & a girl asks “Is Tamara is home?” She tells the stranger that she has the wrong place & she leaves. The family starts playing games & enjoy some quality time together. The same girl knocks on the door & asks the exact same question as earlier. They all just think the stranger is lost & confused. The two kids discover some unsettling things that set off a horrifying chain of events. The family is being stalked by three masked killers & they must fight their way out to survive this night from hell!!!!

It’s been a decent amount of time since the original film was released. I am surprised it took so long to get this sequel made but I do think it was worth all that wait! This follow up is actually more entertaining & brutal compared to the first film. The kills & gore are amped up in this one so horror fans will definitely be happy about that addition. It had more characters in this so I guess that helped it achieve that. It also had more locations & set pieces so it wasn’t as isolated. All the performances were real solid in this especially the kids. I thought the soundtrack didn’t fit the vibe of the film at all. It really threw me off at first because it was so out of place. It becomes such a weird experience because at the end I actually ended up enjoying it despite it not fitting in. That’s probably one of the reasons because it just makes the feature go anywhere without much of a warning so it was unique. It gave it some fresh air to the series which was cool to see.

Let’s talk about the high definition presentation on this disc from Universal. This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer really shines at certain moments especially the pool scene which looks AMAZING! It’s one of the best scenes I’ve experienced for recent horror. It’s a real dark film so sometimes it doesn’t pop out as much & some stuff is kinda hidden in the night but it works with the atmosphere of this production. It adds to the suspense & thrills. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is top notch on here. It’s one of those features were the sound enhances the scenes & you feel like it’s happening to you at that very time. It sounds great in the home set up. It also includes English SDH & Spanish subtitles.

Let’s discuss the special features on this release. It has an almost 2 minute “Alternate Ending”. “Prep For Night” Music Video: Director’s Cut which is over 2 minutes. “A Look Inside The Strangers: Prey At Night” is an almost 2 minute promotional piece that doesn’t really go anywhere besides a super quick look at the production. “Family Fights Back” is 2 minutes & it focuses on the main characters from this. It’s brief but it’s definitely better than the other extras on here. “The Music Of The Strangers: Prey At Night” is almost 3 minutes. Director Johannes Roberts said he wanted a John Carpenter style to this film. I am curious what Carpenter stuff he is referring to because it doesn’t remind me of the horror master at all & I consider Carpenter’s music to be some of the best in the history of horror. He talks about 80s Pop music & brings up that he had certain tracks for the right moments for this. Actress Bailee Madison chats about the music featured in the production also. I am a little shocked how light these extras are on this blu ray because none of them are honestly that special. They are just fast promo pieces they made to highlight a few things quick without going into much detail. You get two options when it comes to your viewing experience of Prey at Night either Theatrical or Unrated. There’s not much of a difference time wise between the two versions.  You also get a slipcover, a digital code, & a DVD copy. I was more impressed than I thought I would be with this sequel. It was way better than expected & I highly recommended any Strangers, slasher, & horror fans to check it out ASAP!