What makes a horror film even more chilling? Being told that it actually happened — or at least that it was inspired by true events. Just reading those words in a scary movie trailer sends chills down our spines. Maybe that's why The Strangers was such a massive success (or maybe it's because it was just plain scary). A new sequel is out this year, and it's also claiming to be based on a true story.
In 2008, The Strangers was released, and it centered on a family who was tortured at their home for no reason other than they happened to be there. The first film was inspired by a childhood event that made director Bryan Bertino's mind wander, but the events depicted absolutely did not take place. Rather, he recalled burglars wandering his neighborhood looking for homes that weren't inhabited.
Ten years later, The Strangers: Prey at Night is being released. It looks like another terrifying tale of a family being tortured, but is it also "inspired by true events" or even "based on a true story"?
According to the trailers, it is "based on true events," and again we feel the chills coming on. Although the original film's director is not working on the sequel, which is set for a March release, he did cowrite the script with Ben Ketai.
The Strangers: Prey at Night features a family that decides to stay at an abandoned trailer park (great idea) during their road trip. After a woman knocks on their door and discovers they are home, the family is paid a visit by three masked psychopaths and must try to survive. The sequel is in fact inspired by the 2008 film, which was technically inspired by true events that happened in the former director's life, so if you connect the dots this film is also technically "inspired by true events." If you look for a similar case, the closest thing you'll find is the 2009 killing of eight people in a mobile home, but besides the setting, there aren't many parallels between the incident and the new film.
The Strangers: Prey at Night opens on March 9, and it'll probably still scare your face off.