Reviewed by: Francisco Gomez Jr.
What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Answer
Why do people randomly murder others?
murder in the Bible
|Featuring:||Christina Hendricks … Cindy
Bailee Madison … Kinsey
Martin Henderson … Mike
Emma Bellomy … Dollface
Lewis Pullman … Luke
Damian Maffei … Man in the Mask
Lea Enslin … Pin-Up Girl
Leah Roberts … Young Mother
Preston Sadleir … Officer Brooks
|Director:||Johannes Roberts—“47 Meters Down” (2017)|
thefyzz [Great Britain]
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Prequel: “The Strangers” (2008)
“Strangers: Prey at Night” is the sequel to the 2008 film “The Strangers.” It is directed by Johannes Roberts and stars Christina Hendricks (Cindy), Martin Henderson (Mike), Bailee Madison (Kinsey), and Lewis Pullman (Luke).
The mysterious strangers lurk in the night of a trailer park, as they prey on a couple. The story cuts to parents Cindy and Mike getting ready to vacation at Uncle Marvin’s trailer park to spend some family time. Rebellious daughter Kinsey, is being sent to boarding school, and the family wants one last mini-vacation, to the dismay of her brother Luke. They reach the desolate trailer park. No one in sight. The family settles down in their trailer for the weekend, but they hear a knock on the door, and soon they discover that they are not alone. They are prey at night.
The film’s lighting and cinematography are incredibly well done for such a low budget. It emulates the likes of John Carpenter and Wes Craven seamlessly. The last twenty minutes of the film are particularly brow raising. It produces some truly beautiful shots that are surprising in a horror film. At its best, the cinematography serves to advance the story and distract or draw attention to what the movie wants you to see. The cast does a very solid job all around. Hendricks and Madison have standout moments of great acting that go beyond your typical screaming and crying. The score is reminiscent of films such as “Halloween” or “Friday the 13th.” The film satirizes and simultaneously pays tribute to the visual and musical style of horror films of old.
However, so much attention is paid to visuals and score that the movie suffers from its pacing. The screenplay is not the problem, as it actually incorporates a convincing back story for the audience to care about the characters, but the film’s pacing of the story is slow. I was surprised to walk out of the theater and realize that only a little over an hour had passed. The film has an intriguing and mysterious start, but it spends too much time attempting to build tension that isn’t there to begin with. The film prolongs certain moments where the outcome is already clear, to little effect or purpose. There are three times when I thought the movie would pick up, but it did not. When the plot finally thickened I had already lost interest.
This amounts to the film, in my opinion, not being scary, and as a horror film—a genre where people pay to get the jeepers—that is a massive pitfall. The ordeal felt more like an arthouse film with horror elements rather than a horror film with great technical work. It lacked the cohesion to bring good technical work together with its genre and story.
The idea behind the original “Strangers” was to exemplify the depravity of mankind, and show what horrible things strangers can do to other human beings. Bryan Bertino—the director from the first “…Strangers”—explained that the inspiration for the film came from several real life murder cases. In a particularly thematic scene, Kinsey asks the strangers why they are haunting their family, and the stranger answers, “Why not?” Sin such as murder is an example of the consequences of rebellion against God. It hurts us, and it hurts others. This is the case with all sin, and we have all sinned.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” —Romans 3:23.
As the story unraveled, I was surprised by the focus the story had on family. Kinsey is an extremely rebellious child, and her parents have tried everything to straighten her path. The Bible teaches us that children need to honor their parents.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” —Ephesians 6:1
While the parents have tried seemingly everything to change Kinsey’s heart, as Christians, we know that what truly changes someone’s heart is the Lord.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me” —Psalms 51:10
Whether it is something as depraved as murder, or the rebellion of a child against her parents, only God can forgive sin and transform hearts. If you have not asked God to forgive you of your sins and accepted him as your Lord and Savior, you can find more information on how to do so here on ChristianAnswers. For those of us who follow the Lord, we must remember to keep his statues. It is an act of obedience and love towards God to live our life in obedience.
“If you love me, keep my commands.” —John 14:15
The film is rated R for horror violence and terror, along with strong language, as is typical in most horror films.
Violence: There is plenty of violence, as the main premise of the film is psychopathic strangers preying on an innocent family. I will not mention names, but the following details are the heaviest examples of violence and could be considered spoilers. ***SPOILER*** Mutilated corpses are found in a bedroom and are visible for a few seconds. A character is stabbed to death, and their blood is used to paint a smiley face on a mirror. There is a car accident in which a character is impaled. A character is killed with a screwdriver launched into his throat. A character is blasted with a shotgun. A character is stabbed to death in the chest with blood splattering. A car explodes with a character in it. Someone is killed with a bat swing to the head. A character is stabbed in the back and a pool fills with their blood. ***END SPOILeR***
Language/Profanity: There is plenty of offensive language. The Lord’s name is taken in vain 5 times, and there are 3 instances of “h*ll.” There aremore than 18 variations on the “f” word. Kinsey gives “the finger” to Luke on two occasions. Two sexual references are made. Other words include “d*ck” (1), “qu*ef” (2), “b*tch” (2), and “sh*t” (7).
Sex/Nudity: The aunt and uncle are jokingly said to watch tons of filthy porno sex. Kinsey calls Luke a “d*ck” and a “qu*ef.” Mike tells Cindy that with the kids out of the house “they can do it like we used to.” He proceeds to kiss her neck, but the audience is spared from nudity.
Alcohol/Drugs: Kinsey and Luke find alcohol in a trailer and almost drink it. Cindy drinks a bit of wine. Kinsey smokes outside, and Cindy finds her and takes the cigarette away to smoke it herself.
The film boasts wonderful cinematography, lighting, and an eerie score comparable to old horror classics. It features a solid performance from its cast, and has a screenplay that succeeds in making the audience care about the characters. However, the film has the slowest pace in my recent memory that undermines the rest of the work. It also features plenty of offensive content and is not very entertaining. My advice to Christians is to skip this movie that seeks to entertain viewers through grim murder; this is not conducive to spiritual growth.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.