The Strangers: Prey at Night – Official Teaser Trailer

Screenshot 2018-01-09 02.40.12I didn’t particularly like 2008’s The Strangers because it made the same mistake other slasher/home invasion thrillers make, namely imbuing it’s protagonists with almost superhuman/supernatural abilities.

What I recall was that the killers had this almost uncanny knack for getting into places soundlessly and without anyone ever knowing they were there, which was a tendency that got even more irritating when you’d have the killers constantly popping behind characters for maximum shock value, but little else.

Plus there’s the whole ‘Based On True Events’ malarkey, which means it’s going be so loosely so that it’s not worth even mentioning.

That being said, The Strangers: Prey at Night might be really brilliant in the same way the truly excretable Ouija was surpassed by its sequel, Oijua: Origin of Evil, directed by Mike Flanagan (in my humble opinion the best horror director working today)..

Bryan Bertino, who wrote and directed the original movie wrote the screenplay for the sequel, though luckily won’t be returning to direct.

That chair is being filled by Johannes Roberts (Storage 24) , who for my money gives Prey at Night at least a chance of not sucking.

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‘The Expelled’ Review

The Expelled

“First Lesson of Horror Movie 101:  If you’re going to kill a bunch of people, viewers need to empathize with their plight.  Otherwise, all we’re seeing are some interesting special effects.”

A virtually empty school haunted by hooded killers would normally be an idea that I could really sink my teeth into.  Yet director Johannes Roberts‘ (Storage 24) 2010 film, “The Expelled” is mostly without bite.

Thinking about it, I think that the problem is that, as viewers, we never know what the nature of the menace is.  We see three or four males wearing hooded sweatshirts whose faces always manage to be in a darkness deeper than any that actually surround them, whom manage to leap on metal shelves without a sound and seem way more dangerous than they have any right being.

The movie doesn’t imply that the’s anything supernatural about them, yet they feel very much supernatural and otherworldly, which does the film a disservice because there’s no groundwork laid to lead viewers to make such an impression (other than the killers themselves).  

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‘Storage 24’ Review

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“If more attention were given to character development, “Storage 24” could have been a genre classic, instead of a mildly interesting diversion.”

Horror is a house with many doors, all opening onto the stuff of nightmares.  Whatever your interest, be it torture porn, poltergeists, vampires, zombies, and just about everything in-between, you’ll find a place just for you.  In this house, there’s also a room for what I like to call survival horror, a sub-genre that deals with a group of individuals trapped by a being–be it human or otherwise–which they have to overcome if they are to escape with their lives.

“Escape” can be relative, though.  For instance, I would consider John Boorman’s “Deliverance” a prime example of survival horror, despite the fact that it takes place on a river because the individuals that are being hunted do not know their way around, which in a very real sense restricts their movement.

Besides “Deliverance,” a classic of this sub-genre is Ridley Scott’s “Alien” (which straddles science fiction as well).

Though for my money, quite possibly the best example is found in John Carpenter’s remake of “The Thing” (which, like Scott’s film has elements of sci-fi, though the direction–as well as innovative special effects–are so strong that you could replace the antagonist with just about any monster you chose, and it would still work.

“Storage 24” as an example of survival horror that is in some ways similar to Carpenter’s film, in that there’s an alien that plagues a group of people, who in this case are trapped in a storage facility in central London.

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