The Strangers: Prey At Night appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie delivered a generally good presentation.
Sharpness largely seemed positive, as the majority of the movie offered appropriate delineation. Some of the many dimly-lit interiors could come across as a little ill-defined, but most of the film looked reasonably concise.
I saw no jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. I also noted no signs of source defects.
As expected, colors remained stylized, with a definite orientation toward a heavy mix of orange and teal. These hues appeared predictable but they served the production’s choices.
Blacks seemed fairly deep and firm, while shadows offered pretty good clarity. Again, some dark shots could seem a little dense, but these elements usually worked fine. This came across as a “B” presentation.
I felt the same about the often subdued DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, as it focused on the usual scope one associates with creepy horror films. This meant a lot of spooky ambience and not much more.
That said, the mix did kick to life at times. Some of the stabs at scares boasted good involvement around the spectrum, and music provided nice utilization of the channels.
Audio quality seemed solid. Music was lively and full, while speech appeared natural and concise.
Effects also appeared accurate and dynamic. All of this led to a generally positive soundtrack.
The disc includes both the film’s theatrical (1:25:37) and unrated (1:25:37) cuts. That’s no typo: both versions run exactly the same length.
So how do the two differ? Excellent question, and one I can’t answer, as I only watched the unrated version.
I would guess that the unrated cut probably opted for more blood in some shots. Another horror movie whose title escapes me used digital methods to produce more gore in otherwise identical shots, so I suspect that’s what happens here.
It’s also possible that the unrated Prey uses alternate shots for some scenes, but this seems unlikely because the two offer identical running times. It feels next to impossible that the two versions differ in non-cosmetic ways and still span the same exact amount of time down to the second.
In addition, I can’t rule out the possibility that Universal simply screwed up when they authored the disc. This seems unlikely, especially because the DVD sports identical 1:25:32 running times for its two presentations, but it could be the case.
An Alternate Ending goes for one minute, 51 seconds. It extends the theatrical finale by a few seconds and offers a bit more implied horror. It seems unnecessary.
Three promotional featurettes, as we find “A Look Inside” (1:50), “Family Fights Back” (2:02) and “The Music of The Strangers: Prey At Night” (2:46).
Across these, we hear from director Johannes Roberts and actors Martin Henderson, Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison and Lewis Pullman. The clips look at story, characters and music/songs. “Music” adds a couple of minor insights but overall, these shows seem awfully superficial.
We also find a music video for “I Think We’re Alone Now” by “The Strangers”. Neither the performance nor the video offer anything compelling.
The disc opens with ads for Thoroughbreds, Tremors: A Cold Day In Hell, Gringo and Unsane. No trailer for Prey appears here.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Prey. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
A good example of style over substance, The Strangers: Prey At Night manages some spooky ambience but lacks merit as an attempt at horror. The film relies on the usual tropes without any form of freshness or creativity. The Blu-ray brings largely positive picture and audio as well as a smattering of supplements. Don’t expect much from this weak horror tale.