The Strangers: Prey at Night

Weekend Movies: Prey Time

The only serious competition for the four-week-old ‘Black Panther’ this week is one of Disney’s own movies. However, the critically panned kids’ flick is unlikely to dethrone it. Three other wide releases also take the stage, but none of them stand much chance either.

If you thought Disney learned its lesson after the less-than-impressive family fantasy ‘Tomorrowland’, think again. The studio just Tomorrowlanded (yes, I turned the title of that bad movie into a verb) a beloved kids’ fantasy book with a dreadful screenplay and misguided execution. Acclaimed director Ava DuVernay took on ‘A Wrinkle in Time‘, but didn’t seem to have a clear concept or vision. After their scientist father (Chris Pine) has been missing for four years, his two children and a random kid they meet in the street follow three quirky otherworldly beings (Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling) across space and time to bring him back. Oddly, although science is what stranded him, fantasy, positive thoughts and love just might unlock the path to bringing him back.

Each of the weekend’s other wide releases will storm 2,400 screens. The first is ‘The Hurricane Heist‘, an action caper from the guy who gave us the first ‘The Fast and the Furious’, the first ‘xXx’ and ‘Stealth’. A group of thieves played by Toby Kebbell, Maggie Grace and a bunch of other no-names attempt to pull off a seemingly impossible ‘Italian Job’/’Fast Five’ heist in the middle of a wicked hurricane. Think of Christian Slater and Randy Quaid’s ‘Hard Rain’ – only bigger, wetter, windier and (hopefully) without jet-skis. Not screened for press, it’s safe to assume that Entertainment Studios’ latest isn’t all that entertaining at all.

2008’s ‘The Strangers’ was a pretty decent horror flick that Hollywoodized a disturbing true story. Unfounded on anything true, the writer of ‘The Forest’ and the director of ’47 Meters Down’ bring us an unwarranted ten-years-later sequel, ‘The Strangers: Prey at Night‘. Instead of taking place in a secluded home, this drawn-out home invasion tale takes place in a secluded trailer park. Christina Hendricks is the only notable name in the cast. Also not screened for press, I get the impression that it’s better suited for streaming services than first-run theaters.

Lastly, Aussie Nash Edgerton directs ‘Gringo‘, a black comedy that strives to play in the same leagues as ‘Snatch’. Although it doesn’t quite get there, the movie’s still quite good. David Oyelowo leads the ensemble cast as an everyday guy who plays by the rules until he loses everything in a single day. He then decides to break the rules and set into motion an international scheme that will extend farther than he could have imagined. Kidnapping, contract killers, dangerous extractions, drug smuggling, cartels, affairs, standoffs and shootouts will all come into play in this Mexico-set picture. Nash’s brother Joel Edgerton, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Sharlto Copley and Thandie Newton co-star.


  1. ” … the guy who gave us the first ‘The Fast and the Furious’, the first ‘xXx’ and ‘Stealth’”

    Don’t forget ‘Dragonheart’, a genuinely good movie!

  2. Movie Watcher

    “and (hopefully) without jet-skis” – I love that! Hard Rain was so hyped in its day and was so terrible. Just watching the trailer for The Hurricane Heist gives you a pretty good idea of what the movie will be like. I love watching trailers for bad movies to see how the poor editor tries to make a bad movie look cool. The trailer for the upcoming Nicholas Cage’s movie Humanity Bureau looks like another winner 😉

      • Csm101

        I liked it quite a bit. I still feel the first one was more scary and realistic, but this one delivered a more cinematic experience and more rewards for the good guys. A really good modern slasher. This is the type of movie I love to watch with friends and family at home. Are we not getting Phil’s thoughts on this one?

        • Chris B

          I liked it better than the first one to. Better pacing, more kills, and our victims actually fight back. Will buy the BluRay for sure.

          • Luke Hickman

            I’ve heard nothing but great things about the new Strangers. I don’t think I’ll catch it in theaters, but it’s definitely on my list.

          • Chris B

            It’s an interesting sequel because if you compare the movies side-by-side they’re quite different. The first one was a sad, down-beat horror film about random violence being perpetrated on innocent people who have no recourse, but the sequel is a much more mainstream, exciting movie and a hell of a lot more fun. Just asking someone which Strangers movie they like better allows you to i stantly know their preferences when it comes to the genre. I’m firmly in the latter camp.

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