The inherent problem with making a sequel is the follow-up won’t only be compared to similar films, but faces the scrutiny of rabid fans of the original.
A decade in the making, Strangers 2 might have fared better against backlash regarding the tropes and cliches of horror films if it stood on its own.
But as it stands, it pales in comparison to a modern horror classic beloved by many.
The Strangers: Prey At Night suffers not from a lack of trying, but the failure to recognize that it’s not even close to as smart a film as it pretends to be.
The film follows a family staying in a trailer park for a weekend away, and the three masked murderers who terrorize them.
The soundtrack is killer and ironic, the frights are genuine, and there are jump scares aplenty.
But where the original had a unique flair and the characters possessed basic common sense, the plot drags on here, and the audience will find themselves wishing the bad guys would win.
It’s a wasted opportunity and wasted talent.
My father — who watches these films with my mother often — always sits patiently as she says what horror audiences are always thinking.
“Why did she do that? That was so stupid,” she proclaims.
“Because the script said so,” he always answers with a laugh.
When our main character asks one of the killers why they’re doing this, she smiles and simply says, “Why not?”
But that’s the problem. Despite some incredible sequences and kills, The Strangers 2 is a formidable exercise in gloss and no substance. Actions without the faintest motivation or actual thought.
It’s an unnecessary sequel to a great horror classic, and it takes some shine out of the magic of the original.