After reports emerged last month of The Strangers franchise being revived, Deadline confirms today that the original 2008 film will be getting a reboot trilogy, which is set to star Riverdale's Madelaine Petsch and will be directed by Renny Harlin. The upcoming reboot will also star Froy Gutierrez (Cruel Summer) and Gabriel Basso (Hillbilly Elegy). A sequel to the original film, The Strangers: Prey at Night, landed in theaters a decade after the debut film and told an entirely new story that followed the original structure of the first film. Stay tuned for details on the upcoming The Strangers reboot.
The outlet details of the new films, "The new Strangers film will follow Petsch's character as she drives cross-country with her longtime boyfriend (Gutierrez) to begin a new life in the Pacific Northwest. When their car breaks down in Venus, Oregon, they're forced to spend the night in a secluded Airbnb, where they are terrorized from dusk till dawn by three masked strangers. Lionsgate plans from there to expanding the story in new and unexpected ways with its sequels."
The original film sees a couple being tormented by masked figures who, when pressed about why they were attacking the couple, claimed, "Because you were home." For many horror fans, that film is considered a seminal entry into the home-invasion genre, with the lack of explanation surrounding the events making it all the more horrifying. Prey at Night similarly saw a family on vacation spending the night at a trailer park, only to become the latest target of a group of masked murderers.
With this report that sequels would be expanding the story in "new and unexpected ways," this will surely excite though also dismay some fans. A key component in the success of the story is how little we know about the killers, so were we to get too much backstory about their history, it might turn off some followers, though if we're going into unexpected arenas, it could surprise viewers in positive ways.
Much like the mysterious motivations of the murderers, another compelling element of the series is that original director Bryan Bertino was inspired by real-life events.
"When I was a kid, I read Helter Skelter. I went off to this small town to stay with my grandmother and my dad -- I have no idea why -- said, 'Hey, do you want to read a book while you're gone?' And he gives me Helter Skelter which is definitely big boy reading," Bertino shared back in 2008. "Even now, what grabs me, even now, is that it's not the section about who Charles Manson or what was going on with the family. I was thinking about the Tate murders and realizing that these detailed descriptions had painted a story of what it was like in the house with the victims. But none of the victims knew about the Manson family or why it was happening to them. So, I got really fascinated with telling the victims' tale. And not filling it in with an FBI profile and not filling it in with finding out that somebody's grandmother beat them and now they want to kill everybody. You read obituaries every day where someone is killed for a random reason. Yes, we may eventually find out why, but sometimes they don't."
He added, "As a writer, there wasn't anything I wanted James to do that I felt that I could do. There was no amount of bravery. I tried to do a gut check. When we made the movie, Scott [Speedman] tried to do a gut check. Just how brave would I be? I didn't want this movie to be about what would you wish you would do as much as what would you do?"
Stay tuned for details on the future of The Strangers.
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