Worst. Road trip. Ever.
Synopsis: A family’s road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with some relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive. (Rovi)
Starring: Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, and Bailee Madison
Writers: Bryan Bertino and Ben Ketai
Director: Johannes Roberts
Rating: 14A (Canada)/R (United States)
Running Time: 85mins
For showtimes and more, check out The Strangers: Prey At Night on movietimes.com.
As much as you think you’re seeing a new horror film, you’ve already seen this before. This film doesn’t try to be new in any way whatsoever and it all started from the beginning and continued to check cliche after cliche off all the way until the end. The best part of the film was that it didn’t take long to get there with a running time of just over 80 minutes which was short for any film let alone a horror film.
The short running time allowed it to go straight to the action but of course the other side of that was that there wasn’t nearly enough of it. The story follows an average troubled family (so an average family) which included Cindy (Hendricks) the mother, Mike (Henderson) the father, Kinsey (Madison) the daughter, and Luke (Lewis Pullman) the son. The four of them then head out on a family road trip to a secluded trailer park that of course goes wrong because it wouldn’t be much of a film otherwise.
The plot of many horror films are driven by questionable character decisions and this one was no different. Watching these characters consistently put themselves in the wrong (or right) position will leave most viewers in a semi-permanent facepalm state. Uncovering one’s face will allow for a few semi-entertaining moments that make it look like the film may be different but then a character makes another questionable decision and the story gets back on track.
The story wasn’t original so why should the scares be? They consisted of a few jump scares and several chases that were mostly hit or miss due to the above reasons. The illogical script wasn’t limited to only the family as the strangers (I guess that’s what they’re called) were also responsible for questionable logic jumps. One of the few things the film did right was its soundtrack with one scene involving a pool standing out.
The acting was okay all around with all four leads making their characters watchable despite being cliches. Without giving anything away, they all did what they were supposed to do. Madison and Pullman were slightly better but it would have been nice to see them get equal treatment. After watching the film, one can’t help but to wonder what the point of all of it was as the film doesn’t offer much answers and the ending didn’t make much sense either.
Overall, this was a mediocre, cliche-ridden horror film, weighed down by its questionable script that not even its performances and few entertaining moments can save but at least it’s done before you know it.