The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018)

Director: Johannes Roberts

Writer: Ben Ketai (Screenplay) Bryan Bertino (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, Martin Henderson, Lewis Pullman, Emma Bellomy, Damian Maffei, Lea Enslin

 

Plot: A family of four staying at a secluded mobile home park for the night are stalked and then hunted by three masked psychopaths.


Tagline – Let us prey

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: What Not to Do in Horror Movies

 

Story: The Strangers: Prey at Night starts as a family mother Cindy (Hendricks), father Mike (Henderson) and teenage children Luke (Pullman) and Kinsey (Madison) are travelling across country because Kinsey is a trouble maker (we never learn what she does other than skipping a few classes) is being put in a boarding school, along the way they are stopping off at a secluded mobile home park with family.

Upon their arrival they notice the place is empty and it isn’t long before the iconic Strangers Dollface (Bellomy) Man in the Mask (Maffei) and Pin-Up Girl (Enslin) start stalking them around the park. Tonight, will be a battle to survive.

 

Thoughts on The Strangers: Prey at Night

 

Characters – Cindy is the disappointed mother and the end of her rope when it comes to dealing with Kinsey and she feels old, this is all we learn about her. Mike is the dad, that sums him up. Luke is the soon to be attending college baseball player, he does try to bridge the gap between himself and Kinsey, trying to be the big brother. Kinsey is the trouble maker apparently, she is being set to boarding school for something she did and is your typical rebellious teenage daughter character. The Strangers seem to have had a makeover too, they don’t seem as sadistic as I remember them, as usually they like to play with their victims more. When it comes to writing the characters, this film does a terrible job, as we see by ALL of the decisions they make in the film.

PerformancesThe bad characters does effect the acting because the four in the family have next to nothing to work with, other than run and scream, make as much noise as possible while trying to hide and having awful chemistry especially between the parent characters.

StoryThe story here follows a family which are going to be stalked by the returning Strangers, we have a bigger environment for them to play in, but this time it does seem harder to understand their plans because they seemed to like torture, but this time they are swinging for kills. This ends up turning the idea into a weak slasher film over any sort of psychological thriller, the decisions being made by the characters are hilarious and certain moments seem to have a character run 10 metres and forget where they just were. You will spend a lot of time rolling your eyes at the decisions being made in this film.

HorrorAs the original Strangers in one of the best home invasion style movies, making this horror expand didn’t seem to give the horror moments enough to go on, the trailer has also given away all of the best scares.

SettingsThe bigger setting does create an atmosphere at times, and the shots we are given do look great, which does get the best bit of the praise in the movie, the problem comes with this setting not suiting the Strangers MO.

Special EffectsThe effects are getting points because the attacks look brutal and this does have great camera work for creating the shots.


Scene of the Movie –
There are some brilliant looking shots around the park.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Decision making.

Final ThoughtsThis is a complete mixed bag of a horror, the visual creations are wonderful as are the music, but they just can’t save a film filled with the worst character decisions in most horror movies.

 

Overall: Well shot horror, terribly written characters.

Rating

 

 

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The Monster (2016)

monsterDirector: Bryan Bertino

Writer: Brian Bertino (Screenplay)

Starring: Zoe Kazan, Scott Speedman, Ella Ballentine, Aaron Douglas, Christine Ebadi

 

Plot: A mother and daughter must confront a terrifying monster when they break down on a deserted road.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Creature Horror

 

Story: The Monster starts teenage daughter Lizzy (Ballentine) having to tidy up and prepare for a trip with her alcoholic mother Kathy (Kazan). With tension growing between the two the journey across country so that Lizzy can stay with her father. On the journey, they end up involved in an accident during the rainy condition leaving them stuck in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.

When it appears, they have hit a wolf we continue to see flashbacks of the troubling relationship between mother and daughter but it is only amplified by the fact there is a monster outside the car lurking in the woods.

The Monster comes off like a very interesting horror thriller concept because the trapped with a monster lurking has been done before and well doesn’t come off to original as we run through the usual issues like ‘stay quiet’ ‘don’t go outside’ ‘we need to try and escape’. It is the look at the very bad relationship between the mother and daughter which would come off abusive in most places that put the true cat amongst the pigeons here. We see however bad the relationship is the maternal instinct will always kick in when it comes to protecting a child.

This is pretty much a two person show and I think Kazan and Ballentine both do a great job in the roles dealing with the abusive side and the horror side. Anyone else who appears in the movie is only in a couple of scenes never really making an impact. The monster itself looks terrifying and it is good to see practical effects being used by the film.

 

Overall: Horror film I would be suggest to the horror fans out there reading this post.

Ratingcard

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Mockingbird (2014)

mockingbirdDirector: Bryan Bertino

Writer: Bryan Bertino (Screenplay) Bryan Bertino, Sam Esmail (Story)

Starring: Alexandra Lydon, Audrey Marie Anderson, Barak Hardley, Todd Stashwick

 

Plot: A couple are given a camera and a set of instructions which they must follow or else someone will die.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Messy, Confusing and Dull

 

Story: Mockingbird starts when Emmy (Anderson) and Tom (Stashwick) receive a video camera congratulating them on winning a contest telling them to continue filming through the night. Elsewhere Leonard (Hardley) also wins a contest that informs him to follow instruction through the night.

What follows is Emmy and Tom being terrorised by intruders from the outside ordering them to film themselves while Leonard continues on his mystery adventure dressed as a clown. We also follow how Beth (Lydon) is tormented by strangers outside her campus house. We are left to wonder how these stories are connected and even if they are connected from this storm night of terror.

Mockingbird tries to bring us three stories that are all happening on one night, two involved home invasion like tactics while the third just seems to be a man making an American Funniest Home Videos. One big issue for me is the fact that both the leading actresses look very similar at a glance which is all you get with the shaky cam style and it was nearly half way through the film before I realised there was a third story going on. The final act is just messy because we don’t know what the actual point of everything and I can safely say this is beyond boring.

 

Actor Review

 

Alexandra Lydon: Beth is the university student who believes she has won a camera as part of a campus prize but finds herself being terrorised in her own dorm room, ordered to follow the instructions. Alexandra is in the film that is about all I can say about her as I didn’t realize she was different character until late in the film.

Audrey Marie Anderson: Emmy is the wife and mother who along with her husband gets trapped inside her own home with her husband to follow the instructions left for her by the strangers outside their home. Audrey does a basic job in this role but mainly involved screaming.

Barak Hardley: Leonard is the man given the clown costume to wear as he follows instruction to do random acts around the town outside his own comfort zone. Barak is the remotely highlight of the film as the clown but that is it.

Todd Stashwick: Tom is the husband to Emmy who also gets trapped at home with her having to follow the instructions given. Todd doesn’t really give us anything special in this performance.

Support Cast: Mockingbird doesn’t really have a big supporting cast with only a couple of scenes with any in.

Director Review: Bryan BertinoBryan doesn’t really capture enough atmosphere needed in this film because of the story line jumps.

 

Horror: Mockingbird does have a couple of scare attempts but just doesn’t know where to stick the horror over the laid back style of the clown almost comedy story.

Thriller: Mockingbird doesn’t keep us interested enough through the film when it should be easy to achieve this.

Settings: Mockingbird gets us confused with locations because of the difficulty knowing the characters apart.
Special Effects
: Mockingbird doesn’t really use too many effects which is only disappointing.

Suggestion: Mockingbird is one to avoid really. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: It is short.

Worst Part: Confusing Emmy and Beth up.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Please No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

 

Overall: Flat out terrible horror that doesn’t really know what it wants to be.

Ratingcard