The Strangers: Prey At Night Director Explains Why He Didn’t Make It A Direct Sequel


In The Strangers: Prey at Night, director Johannes Roberts introduces us to a suburban family with two children and one problem.

Mother Cindy (Christina Hendricks) and father Mike (Martin Henderson) decide their troublemaker daughter – punk rebel Kinsey (Bailee Madison) – should be shipped to a boarding school some weekend’s travel away. With son Luke (Lewis Pullman) along for the ride, the clan makes a pit stop at Gatlin Lake mobile home for overnight rest and relaxation. It’s offseason, streets are prophetically empty – but, alas, three masked boogeymen lurk the grounds. “Pin-Up Girl,” “Dollface,” and “Man In The Mask” start hunting the family for sport because…frankly…it’s a night that ends in “y.”

As far as slashers, hunt-at-night thrillers and other stalker-slaughter flicks compare, Prey At Night is a familiar but well-made movie. Though one thing it’s certainly not is a direct sequel to what came before. While DNA from The Strangers is certainly felt throughout, this latest outing for the franchise is very much its own thing and in a recent interview with CinemaBlend, Roberts explained why he made the decision to have Prey at Night stand apart from its predecessor.

Anything you can possibly imagine has been kicked around over the ten years. I’m sure they had Strangers in space at one point. A lot of different scenarios had been kicked around. When I took the project on one of the things that was in my mind was how direct a sequel this was gonna be. How many references to the original movie and all of that.

Continuing on he said:

We went back and forth and in the end felt that the thing that I really wanted to do was make this its own. That it fit the into the world of The Strangers but that it just was its own beast. There’s a lot of little nods there and we played around with that, and we did kick around like ‘What if Scott? What if Liv?’

Frankly, it’s probably for the best that Roberts went down this route. After all, there’s no need to be tied down by the continuity of the first film in a franchise like this. Having The Strangers act as more of an anthology series instead makes sense. And again, it’s not like it’s totally disconnected from what came before.

Strangers: Prey at Night banner

As the director noted to CinemaBlend, it’s still the same group of killers and the events of the first movie still took place in this world. Prey at Night just doesn’t necessarily make a point to address any of that – simply because it doesn’t need to and shouldn’t have to.

Aviron Pictures and Johannes Roberts will unleash Dollface, Pin-up Girl and the Man in the Mask for a new generation when The Strangers: Prey at Night hits theaters tomorrow, March 9th.

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Matt Joseph

Matt Joseph is the co-founder, owner and Editor in Chief of We Got This Covered. He currently attends the University of Western Ontario and is studying at the Richard Ivey School of Business. He works on We Got This Covered in his spare time and enjoys writing for the site.