The Strangers: Revisit The Terrifying Franchise Before The 2024 Strangers Trilogy

The Strangers is returning with a new trilogy in 2024. But before we journey to the future, we must pay a visit to the past.

The Strangers return with a brand-new trilogy in 2024. What makes these movies so scary, and what does the future hold for The Strangers? 

In 2008, a chilling new horror movie took Hollywood by storm. Starring Scott Speedman and Liv Tyler, The Strangers shows a couple suffering through a brutal home invasion. Kristen McKay (Tyler) and James Hoyt (Speedman) fight for their lives against masked intruders who torture and taunt them. 

The Strangers: Prey at Night follows a family of four being attacked by the same assailants. 

There are only two films in the franchise so far, making it more of a duology than a franchise. Next year, however, The Strangers universe will expand with three new feature films. In anticipation of the upcoming trilogy, let’s examine what makes this horror story so special. 


The vicious trailer for The Strangers promised a terrifying night of violence enacted for apparently no reason. 

There is no motivation for the brutal assault on Kristen and James. Three masked individuals decided to attempt murder just because they could.

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The lack of motive turns out to be one of the scariest motives imaginable. The idea that a person(s) might choose to become a killer just for the hell of it is bone-chilling. A murderer with no grudge, no vendetta, no passion for anything except the hunt is a threat like no other. 

Kristen and James do not deserve the horrors they are faced with. Their relationship is in a complicated place during the bloody affair. James proposed to Kristen, who said no. Both individuals are emotional and unsure of what the future holds when a stranger comes knocking at the door. 

Tyler and Speedman lend humanity to their characters which is in short supply throughout the horror genre. When nightmarish bloodshed comes their way, we become deeply invested in their fight for survival. 

Writer/director Bryan Bertino creates three-dimensional characters in the script and thrusts them into a causeless nightmare. Cinematographer Peter Sova uses several long takes where we see “The Strangers” stalking the couple, just out of Kristen and James’ sight. 

The creative team perfectly captures the feeling of being watched when it seems like no one is around. The eerie camerawork, complex leads, and unique lack of motive coalesce into one unforgettably frightening picture. 


The Strangers: Prey at Night tells a similar story to the original. A family of four is spending some quality time together before their teenage daughter goes to boarding school. They vacation to an abandoned trailer park where all hell breaks loose. 

A mysterious blonde woman comes to their door and asks, “Is Tamara home?”. This mirrors The Strangers (2008), where the killers introduced themselves in the exact same way. Before long, the blonde and her two psychotic associates begin their savage attack. 

The Strangers: Prey At Night didn’t set out to reinvent the wheel. It takes the concept of the first film, introduces new victims, and increases the body count. Add a synth-heavy soundtrack, and voila! A worthy sequel comes to life. 

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Stylistically, Prey at Night is closer to a traditional slasher than the original, though both films defy genre classification.

Slashers usually follow one killer who murders hedonistic teens/young adults until all are dead except for the “final girl”, who either escapes or defeats the killer. Here, there are three killers creating carnage for no reason, who target a family. 

The rules are different here, and the lack of sexuality is a refreshing break from the norm. While the first movie was inspired by the home invasion horror of the 70s, The Strangers: Prey at Night is modeled in the image of an 80’s slasher.

These films honor their predecessors without holding themselves to the same stereotypical rules of the genre. This creates a feeling that anything can happen and that no one is safe. Unpredictability is a big part of The Strangers’ success story. 


This is a special franchise with a lot of potential. The Strangers trilogy could elevate the story to new heights, as long as it accomplishes certain goals. 

The new trilogy needs to maintain the tense atmosphere which the first two films are known for. Additionally, the new cast (led by Madelaine Petsch) need to be as fascinatingly realistic as the first six protagonists. If Petsch can accomplish this, she will join Liv Tyler and Bailee Madison as an iconic final girl in one of horror’s most exciting franchises. 

Finally, the question of motive must be readdressed in The Strangers trilogy. When asked why they were doing this, the killers replied “Because you were homein the 2008 film, and “Why notin 2018’s Prey at Night. The sequel was able to twist the motive (or lack thereof) and add a new dimension to the original. These next three movies must accomplish the same goal, or they will fail to live up to audience expectations. 

What do you think of The Strangers and Prey at Night? What do you hope to see in the upcoming trilogy?

Let us know your thoughts on social media, and thanks for reading. We are always watching.



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Corbin Shanklin

CJ Shanklin is a journalist. They have been writing & reporting in the entertainment industry for four years, but their best work is still ahead of them. Stay tuned for more stories for the fans, penned by a fan.