Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Strangers: Prey at Night

Go To

The Strangers: Prey at Night is a 2018 horror film. It is the sequel to The Strangers, with Johannes Roberts taking over as director, though the previous film’s director, Bryan Bertino, co-wrote the script.

A family of four—parents Mike (Martin Henderson) and Cindy (Christina Hendricks) and kids Luke (Lewis Pullman) and Kinsey (Bailee Madison)—take a trip to a secluded trailer park, unaware of the three masked killers waiting for them to arrive.

This film contains examples of:

  • Actionized Sequel: The heroes get a better chance at fighting off the killers this time around and even manage to kill them all.
  • Anticlimactic Unmasking: A defeated Dollface lays wounded on the ground, allowing Kinsey the opportunity to finally reveal the face of one of the three killers. What do we find under the mask? A totally normal looking young woman.
  • Based on a Great Big Lie: An online ad for the DVD release claims that the movie was based on a true story.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Luke has this toward Kinsey even before they encounter the killers.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Kinsey and Luke survive their ordeal with the Strangers and end up killing all three of them, but their parents and the deputy who tried to help Kinsey are dead and they are no doubt permanently scarred physically and emotionally.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Happens with Dollface, who flashes a bloody smile after being unmasked and getting shot once before Kinsey finishes her off with another.
  • Bleed 'Em and Weep: Kinsey cries after killing Dollface, and again, suffering a full-on Heroic BSoD after killing the Masked Man.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Dollface has Kinsey dead to rights inside of a patrol car, with Kinsey desperately trying to get a shotgun out of its rack, at stabbing range. All Dollface needs to do is just stab her through the heart or throat and that's it, the kid's dead. Instead Dollface just gives Kinsey playful little slashes that injure Kinsey's hands and arms as she keeps trying to get the shotgun, and she finally does. Boom.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Kinsey, which is why her parents are sending her to a boarding school.
  • Call-Back: Dollface begins the terror once again by knocking on the family's door on two separate occasions to ask, "Is Tamra home?"
  • Car Fu: The Man in the Mask attempts this multiple times, even plowing his car through a trailer to attack Luke and Kinsey.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Kinsey's cigarette lighter, which she uses to ignite the fuel leaking from the police cruiser Man in the Mask just rammed, blowing him up. He survives, but is wounded enough for her to escape.
  • Contrasting Sequel Protagonist: The previous film had a couple of adults not ready for marriage as its protagonists. In contrast, this film has a family of four as its protagonists. The parents, Luke and Cindy, are older adults dealing with the challenge of raising a rebellious daughter while their children, Luke and Kinsey, are high-schoolers moving to the next stage of their lives with Luke about to enter college and Kinsey about to enroll into a boarding school.
  • Cop Killer: Dollface slashes the throat of a deputy who stops to help Kinsey.
  • Dead Star Walking: Christina Hendricks and Martin Henderson are the biggest names in the movie and they are the only ones from the family to die and fairly quickly.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: A pretty implied, and dramatic, version. After Kinsey puts a load of buckshot in Dollface's gut and has her dead to rights, she asks her why the group have done all of the terror she's had to endure. Dollface, in pain, tells her "why not?". Cut to a shot farther away so we can't make out Kinsey's facial expression, but the wordless, nearly-casual way she pumps the shotgun and kills Dollface says it all.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Kinsey gets to rip off Dollface's mask right before disemboweling her with a shotgun.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Her: When Pinup Girl attacks Luke from behind, he knocks her down with one swing of a golf club and then stabs her to death shortly afterwards without much fanfare. Even the Man in the Mask barely seems to notice, or care.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The last scene has Kinsey, sitting by Luke's hospital bedside, hearing a sound outside the room similar to a toy Dollface had previously used to bait her, followed by someone knocking on the door the same way Dollface did. Then it cuts to black. However, this may have just been a trauma induced hallucination of Kinsey's.
  • The Faceless: The killers, but Dollface is unmasked by Kinsey near the end, and her face is slightly visible in the shadows.
  • Facial Horror:
    • After the cold open, Uncle Marv and Aunt Sheryl are found with their faces disfigured in their home, with Marv's jaw ripped apart and empty eye sockets.
    • When the Man in the Mask steps out of his vehicle during his final confrontation with Kinsey, we see that his face is horribly burned from the explosion and his mask is partially fused to his face as a result of it.
  • Feel No Pain: Subverted. Having survived being set on fire and impaled with a large glass shard, the Man in the Mask stalks towards Kinsey, pulls out the shard as if to stab her with it, and immediately collapses from the pain. Even though he survives, when he climbs into the truck with Kinsey he's weak and sloppy enough that she can knock him down for good with a baseball bat. Just because the Man in the Mask is ridiculously tough doesn't make mean he can't feel pain.
  • Final Girl: Kinsey, although Luke survives the movie too.
  • For the Evulz: Once again the main motivation for the killers' attacks on their victims.
    Kinsey: Why are you doing this?
    Dollface: Why not?
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Luke's seen in the beginning playing baseball with his friends and later discussing with Kinsey about batting and throwing baseballs in an attempt to calm her down after an argument with her parents. This becomes utilized when Luke swings a golf club at Pin-Up Girl, knowing her out and using the opportunity to unmask her (which fails) before stabbing her.
    • Kinsey as well, as she picks up a baseball bat at the back of a truck during an escape and uses it to kill The Man in the Mask once and for all.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: After being derailed by the Man in the Mask, Mike hits a trailer home and a large board skewers him. This is not, however, how he dies.
  • It Has Only Just Begun:
    Kinsey: Leave us alone!
    Pin-Up Girl: But we've just started.
  • It's All My Fault: Naturally, since her family only encountered the killers while on the road to take her to a boarding school, Kinsey blames herself for everything that happens. She especially feels this way considering her mother's death after she spent the first part of the movie being rude to her.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: The three villains each meet fittingly bloody ends.
  • Kill It with Fire: Kinsey attempts to do this to the Man in the Mask when seeing his car leaking gasoline. While it doesn't quite kill him, it leaves him severely injured and unable to get to her before she leaves him to die to his injuries with one last swing of a baseball bat.
  • Lack of Empathy:
    • The Man in the Mask listens to Mike pleading to leave his family alone with complete disinterest before stabbing him through the neck with an ice pick. He also reacts to Pin-Up Girl's death without even batting an eye, even when Luke is throwing it in his face. Also apparent to Dollface as well, who he doesn't bother seeing after Kinsey shot her.
    • Arguably all three killers are this, even if you don't connect it to the first film: They murdered Kinsey and Luke's uncle and aunt without any regard, killed their parents, and try to kill them as well. This is especially apparent when Kinsey asks Dollface after being unmasked why they did what they did, and she replies with a Slasher Smile, "Why not?".
  • Lighter and Softer: The sequel can be considered this to the original film as it begins with a family dispute subplot straight out a Dom Com, plays Power Ballads during later fight scenes, and ends with two of the protagonists alive and most if not all of the Strangers dead. However, this is downplayed as the Strangers are just as brutal as ever and have a higher body count here.
  • Lodged-Blade Recycling: While stalking Kinsey, the Man in the Mask pulls a shard of glass out of his torso as if to stab her with it but immediately collapses from the pain, allowing her to escape.
  • Nice Guy: The deputy who encountered a bloodied Kinsey on the road and tried to help her before Dollface killed him.
  • Oh, Crap!: Although the mask covers her face you can tell Dollface has this reaction when she sees Kinsey pointing a loaded shotgun at her. And even more once she pumps it before Dollface is shot.
  • Pet the Dog: A literal example, where Dollface briefly gives Marv and Sheryl's dog a pat, and lets him live even after she kills his owners. Though being The Sociopath that she is, it probably wasn't out of altruism.
  • Police Are Useless: Just send one completely unprepared deputy to investigate reports of multiple psychopaths murdering people. Surely nothing can go wrong there.
  • The Quiet One: Man in the Mask is the only killer with no lines, and Pinup Girl only has one.
  • Rasputinian Death: The Man in the Mask manages to survive getting blown up in his car and having a large glass shard stuck in his abdomen as a result of the explosion, and it's only when Kinsey whacks him across the head with a bat that he finally goes down and stays down.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Averted. The .38 that Mike grabs from the trailer never sees any use.
  • Slashed Throat: Dollface does this to a sheriff who comes to investigate the family's panicked calls for help.
  • Slasher Smile: Ironically, a dying Dollface breaks into a crazed smile while explaining to Kinsey why the Strangers are terrorizing her family just before Kinsey finishes her off.
  • Sinister Scraping Sound: The Man in the Mask, with his fireaxe.
  • So Proud of You: Mike tells this to Luke moments before the Man in the Mask kills Mike.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
    • Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" plays when Luke fights Pin-Up Girl and Man in the Mask at the swimming pool.
    • Similarly, Air Supply's "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All" plays when Kinsey takes on Man in the Mask.
    • The Man in the Mask sits next to Mike with total apathy, his response to the latter begging for his life is to turn on the radio and listen to "Cambodia" by Kim Wilde before murdering him with an ice pick.
  • Tap on the Head: Depicted realistically. Being hit in the head with a heavy blunt object by someone fighting for their life is probably going to cause permanent damage, if not kill you outright. Pinup Girl goes down hard when Luke hits her with a golf club, and The Man in the Mask either dies outright when Kinsey hits him with a baseball bat, or dies of his previous injuries after being knocked down.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: When Kinsey unmasks Dollface, she is just an ordinary-looking teenage girl.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • After being knocked down by Luke, Pinup Girl grabs him when he gets close to her and is immediately stabbed to death. When you just tried and failed to ambush someone who you are attacking without provocation, immediately trying to attack again while you are prone and vulnerable is not going to end well for you.
    • Kinsey hides from the Man in the Mask in the tubes, and he doesn't seem to realize that she's there, despite having his headlights on. Then she screams at him to leave her alone, giving away her location.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Man in the Mask is a lot more ruthless and determined than he was in the first movie, willing to drive a truck through the trailer, swing an axe at Luke with little need for recovery, and chases him into the pool. And that's not even mentioning that he chases Kinsey while driving his burning truck, then tracking her down in one final effort to kill her before he's finally ended with a bat to the face.
  • The Unreveal: After Luke knocks Pin-Up Girl on her ass, he attempts to remove her mask. She starts struggling again, causing Luke to finish her off with her own knife, and the Man in the Mask appears and attacks him before he can try to get a look at her face.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Egregiously, Luke has a loaded gun on Dollface, who is utterly helpless, with Kinsey flat out screaming at her brother to pull the trigger. Only for Luke to just run instead, even with Kinsey telling him to give her the gun to shoot Dollface. When she ends up in the same situation, she only pauses to unmask her and demand a motive before putting an end to her.