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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Johannes Roberts
Cast:
Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison
Writing Credits:
Brian Bertino, Ben Ketai

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

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$10,402,271 on 2464 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$24,586,708.

MPAA:
Rated R/Unrated

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DVS (Theatrical Only)
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish

Runtime: 86 min. (Theatrical Version)
86 min. (Unrated Cut)
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 6/12/2018

Bonus:
• Both Theatrical and Unrated Cuts
• Alternate Ending
• “A Look Inside” Featurette
• “Family Fights Back” Featurette
• "The Music of The Strangers: Prey At Night” Featurette
• Music Video
• Previews
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


RELATED REVIEWS


The Strangers: Prey At Night [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 4, 2018)

A sequel to 2008’s The Strangers, 2018’s The Strangers: Prey At Night introduces us to a family that takes a road trip. Parents Mike (Martin Henderson) and Cindy (Christina Hendricks) drive with teen kids Kinsey (Bailee Madison) and Luke (Lewis Pullman) to visit relatives at a remote trailer park.

When they arrive, however, they discover that the location seems oddly deserted. They soon learn that a trio of psychopaths took over the park and they become the subjects of terror.

Maybe my memory’s going now that I’m in my 50s, but I maintained no recall of the 2008 film at all. Sure, I saw it and reviewed it, but not until I checked the site’s archives did I realize I’d watched it. Heck, when I requested a copy of Prey, I didn’t even know it was a sequel – I thought it was a wholly new enterprise.

My review indicates I thought the 2008 film was a snoozer, and I wish I’d reacquainted myself with it before I opted to write up Prey. Had I done so, I probably would’ve skipped Prey and used the 96 minutes I spent with it in a more productive way.

It wouldn’t take much to find a better expense of time, as Prey becomes a wholly uninspired stab at horror. Little more than long stretches of tedium punctuated by random violence, the movie lacks any form of creative inspiration.

The filmmakers seem to understand how limp the basic plot and characters are, so they pour on the atmospherics. Prey ratchets the creepy factor up to “11” and hopes that its moody vibe and spooky villains will be enough to scare us.

They don’t. The film starts with flat attempts at character exposition that add little, and then it launches straight into supposed terror sequences that lack innovation or cleverness.

If you’re a horror fan, you’ve seen everything Prey has to offer. It churns out the same old stale “scares” without anything to deliver real fright.

It doesn’t help that the movie develops the family in a poor manner. Prey sets up Kinsey as a “troubled teen” but we really learn next to nil about the characters otherwise.

Granted, fans don’t go to horror films for three-dimensional personalities, but I’d still like a little more effort than what we find here. It feels like the filmmakers don’t even bother to attempt any form of development – they just throw out anonymous characters and assume we’ll be so spooked by the kills that we won’t care.

All of this leads to a dull 86 minutes of attempted terror. Some parts of Prey provide a moderately creepy feel, but beyond those, this winds up as a forgettable tale.


The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

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.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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