Here’s How John Carpenter Influenced The Strangers: Prey At Night


Whether it’s the spine-chilling terror of The Thing or Halloween and its demented slasher, Michael Myers, John Carpenter’s profound influence on the horror genre cannot be overstated.

In fact, one need only look to David Gordon Green’s upcoming Halloween sequel for evidence of Carpenter’s legacy standing the test of time. But the filmmaker’s oeuvre also inspires new works of fiction indirectly, such as The Strangers: Prey at Night.

Or so says Johannes Roberts, who spoke to Bloody Disgusting in anticipation of the movie’s release this Friday, March 9th. Coming hot off his underwater thriller, 47 Meters Down, Roberts spent time mulling over the atmosphere of his long-awaited horror sequel – not to mention the pacing and cinematic style – and looked to two films, in particular: The Fog and Christine.

Those two films really were my lead in terms of atmosphere and pacing and cinematic style. It’s a tricky one in terms of the movie has a very tense slow build. It’s just atmosphere. It’s really building it and then when things go wrong, it’s relentless. It’s a tricky line to balance which is something you discover in the cutting room more because an audience needs to breathe. You can’t just hit them over the head relentlessly. It was a tricky one to get just right.

Roberts is evidently a big fan of John Carpenter’s Christine – itself an adaptation of the Stephen King classic – and hopes to one day helm his own big-screen version of the pic, which is basically an evil version of Knight Rider.

It’s certainly one of my favorites. Visually I think it’s incredible. It was just something I really wanted to play around with but it was something when I met the truck for the first time in real life, I was like yeah, there’s something about the Ford 100. It was just a great looking car and I just thought, ‘F-ck, this is going to be an amazing character in the movie.’ There’s something creepy about empty cars with the radios playing, cars in silhouette. It just became this character in its own right. It just became really fun to play around with that.

Still no mention of a Christine adaptation getting the go-ahead from Sony, but fans can at least take solace in the fact that The Strangers: Prey at Night is coming soon – on March 9th, in fact, when Aviron Pictures and Johannes Roberts plan to unleash Dollface, Pin-up Girl and the Man in the Mask for a new generation.