This isn’t a complicated film by any stretch of the imagination, and, because of that, I was almost leery about what I would even be able to talk about. The characters are introduced and given very simple backstories for themselves, which has become rudimentary in the horror genre. The issue with this, like many other horror films, is that it overstays its welcome and has little-to-no effect on the events that transpire later in the film. The daughter is depicted as being a troubled youth that resents her parents because they’re sending her away to a different school to try and better her behavior. This little tidbit ultimately contributes nothing to the film and feels like it was added in for no other reason than to help the film’s run-time achieve feature length.
The film features an original score combined with classic songs (Total Eclipse of the Heart, for example) thrown in for extra-measure. I would say these aspects work to the film’s benefit, although, I’d also mention they aren’t complimenting the film in any unique way and are familiarly presented. As a matter of fact, the original score’s piano melodies harken back to John Carpenter’s classic sound presented in Halloween.
Strangers 2 is shot relatively well, once more, I would compare its camera-angles as akin to a lot of what was seen in 80s horror. This isn’t necessarily an insult, because the 80s were a very pertinent decade for the horror genre, where it becomes complicated is when homages aren’t complimented by fresh ideas and unique execution. Strangers 2 doesn’t bolster very many surprises and, in-fact, is a very, very convention slasher film. I did encounter one scene in the film, a jump-scare in the early-going I liked a fair bit due to the way it was shot and presented. Other-wise though, I can’t really say I found anything in this film to single-out or talk about.
This works in the film’s favor and its detriment, however, and perhaps, culminates in a statement more damning than that of praise: Strangers: Prey at Night is very plain. The film is handled by talented hands, executed with proper technique, it’s simply the scenes captured that don’t engage. The acting is competent, but they don’t have anything to sink their teeth into. The film simply felt forgettable and safe, better made than most the slasher films it resembles, but with no better ideas.