The sequel to The Strangers will now be known as Strangers: Prey at Night with director Johannes Roberts’ film opening in early 2018. The cult reputation of Bryan Bertino’s original 2008 chiller The Strangers, made it puzzling as to why it took so long for a follow-up to appear. A long-gestating sequel wasn’t formally announced until earlier this year. At the time, it was simply known as The Strangers 2, and only sparse details were given regarding the plot. But now it’s been announced that the film has an official new title and we can expect to see it released in theaters early next year.

The first film has often been quoted as the benchmark for home-invasion movies and was rumored to have been inspired by several real-life horror stories. Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman starred as a couple stalked at their remote summer home by three masked psychopaths. Christened Dollface, The Man in the Mask, and Pin-Up Girl, these anonymous figures performed a night-long terror campaign on the lead characters simply because they opened their front door to them. It was chillingly plausible with today’s headlines and struck a chord with the audience if not the critics, earning a worldwide gross of over $82 million from a budget of just $9 million.

The sequel finally found a director this year with Johannes Roberts, who recently had some surprising box-office success with the shark movie 47 Meters Down. Bertino was still involved to some extent in the production as he wrote the original working screenplay, with Ben Ketai (The Forest) also adding to the script. The cast includes Christina Hendricks, as well as Bailee Madison (Once Upon a Time). But beyond those details and a minimal synopsis, no further information was made available.

Related: The Strangers 2 Filming Start Date

However Bloody Disgusting reports that the sequel has officially got a new title, and will now be known as Strangers: Prey at Night. Along with the re-title, a release date has also been announced by Aviron Pictures, and the film will hit screens on March 9, 2018. This is a significant date to some extent as it marks the 10th anniversary of the original film. Additionally, the first image was revealed, which you can check out below:

Strangers Prey At Night First Image The Strangers 2 Gets An Official Title & Release Date

The synopsis largely remains unchanged from previous updates with it still running as follows:

“A family’s road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with some relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive.”

Although that makes the plot seem vaguely reminiscent of Wes Craven’s The Hills have Eyes, director Roberts had previously stated that he was very much influenced by the early work of John Carpenter and other ’70s horror movies. This would seem to be backed up by the image that shows Madison’s character trapped against a fence as Dollface approaches her with a knife, which definitely seems to be channeling Carpenter’s original Halloween.

The article also confirms that the three psychopaths in question are indeed the same masked characters – or at least the exact same masks – that were seen in the 2008 film. The film is generally regarded to be something of a soft reboot for a possible franchise, so it remains to be seen if there is any direct connection between the sequel and the original. Other than that, we’re hoping for a effective retro horror with some chilling moments, and we hope that the film can deliver this when it opens next year.

Next: Horror Movies Are Killing It At The Box Office This Year

Source: Bloody Disgusting

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