First Look At "Strangers" Sequel Leaves Me Wondering ...What?

First Look At "Strangers" Sequel Leaves Me Wondering ...What?

I'm not sure if this will be good or not but I can honestly say I did not expect it.

It seems like every few years, the film industry decides to remake an old classic, or add more to classic stories which do not need the addition. How can we, as an audience, blame them though? Audiences always love to turn up for their favorite slashers and villains, even if there are some doubts about the product. 2018 is no different in terms of sequels, as the Strangers gets it’s first sequel since initial release in 2008, and the trailer just dropped this past weekend.

For those who don’t know or may not remember, The Strangers film (starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman) was an oddity in the horror genre, and is easily one of the most chilling movies out. Even the plot is Hitchcockian in that it is so simple: a couple who are terrorized by three masked killers in the safety of their own home. The Strangers had minimal jump scares with most of the uneasiness being made through the subtle appearances of the unnamed masked leader, a few well placed bumps and jumps, an eerie skipping record, and a line that still haunts to this day:

Kristen: Why are you doing this to us?

Dollface: Because you were home.

Naturally, when a movie that stands apart from modern horror films is announced to get a sequel, there’s much to worry about.

When the Prey At Night trailer dropped, the first thing which caught my eye was the title if only because it already looked like every other slasher movie out there.

For some odd reason, I have a bad feeling this could spell the entire movie out for us just in text. Look at the two side by side. The first was minimalist like the movie itself, and the second is… loud and written in blood. This is only something I am picking up on as I am writing this, but I knew upon first watch the title bothered me and now I see why. A minor nuisance which will prove correct later on.

A Very Short Trailer Breakdown:

As I view the trailer (which can be viewed HERE) the cliches are overwhelmingly obvious as we see the rebellious teen girl and her brother, a family in an empty (abandoned?) trailer park. This is not a big issue because if one were to expect anything different, their standards are already too high. It is just something to openly accept: we will never escape these damn cliches.

Dollface(?) makes her debut in the trailer with her line: “is Tamara home?” to which she leaves abruptly. As she asks this, it’s heard in her tone that it is much more demanding and aggressive than the original which reiterates my suspicion above about it being loud and in your face, which the original was not.

We see a mirror with “hello” written repeatedly on it in red (blood? Looks like lipstick to me, but who knows!) which matches the smiley face in the movie poster. This was not in the original and is a new touch.

From then on the trailer consists of two jumpscares (counted) but the majority was the masked villains creeping on their prey as loud and noisily as possible, running, driving a truck through the home, all completed with neon lights and “I think We’re Alone Now” performed by Tiffany.


It seems as though Stranger Things fever has hit the box office and now everyone is obsessed with bringing back the eighties, and I’m not too sure how well it will work. The original movie is so chilling because of the subtlety of the scares, and it seems my suspicions served correct as the trailer for the sequel is home to loud noises and music galore (I like the aesthetic, but following the original with this? No way.) I would even go as far as saying that Prey At Night looks to be a love child between Friday The 13th (2009), You’re Next and Purge: Election Year - but only the first half, with all the lights and the prom queen looking for her candy bar.

Personally, I have had my share of doubts since I saw the first announcement for The Strangers: Prey At Night, but my curiosity was piqued, and I believe strongly that is what they are counting on. While I don’t believe it will be nearly as impactful as the first Strangers movie, and I desperately believe that this one movie could have been left alone… I want to see how it pans out.

Sue me for my curiosity, but just because it is vastly different, I have faith that maybe something good will come out of it. It is a very modern take on the older movie, and that can only mean compromise. As a huge fan of the subtle discomfort and the skipping record, I will miss it dearly as I exchange it for loud booming music and pink flamingos, however, that cocked gun number in the trailer sold me. As someone who goes into movies like these with low expectations, I am fully prepared to be let down, but something about the look just makes me excited. Maybe it was the fantastic music choice.

It most certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and I am almost positive that when it comes down to user reviews, they may favorite the 2008 Strangers more, pretentiously or authentically. The least we can do is give it a shot. If the trailer was surprising, maybe the movie will be just the same.

And I think deep down, we all want to know if the next time will be easier.

The Strangers: Prey At Night is set for theaters on March 9th of this year.

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.

When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...


"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"


Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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