While The Strays gives off some solid Get Out vibes, it remains an odd movie to recommend. If you are out of content to watch, give this movie a chance, at least for the experience. While it isn’t the perfect psychological thriller it pretends to be, it does enough right that you won’t hate having sat through it.
Neve lives her ideal life in the suburbs with her successful and loving husband, two lovely children, and a great job. All seems perfect until the day the ghosts from her past begin to haunt her, slowly dismantling everything she has. Will these ghosts be what sends her over the edge, or is there something more sinister in the works?
It is difficult to review this movie without spoiling it. I will try my best to be as specific as possible without ruining the mystery.
The movie has a strong start but builds up to its disappointing twist. The actors are great and give some terrifying performances, but the story isn’t good enough to take advantage of their abilities. What killed this movie for me was the sudden tonal shifts.
The first half is this creepy psychological thriller that keeps raising the stakes as Neve doesn’t seem to have as strong of a hold of her life as she pretends to. I loved the increasingly disorienting narrative as Neve’s once-sterile day-to-day becomes increasingly unhinged. Through small details like how she increases the dose of her medication, her nervous ticks, and her increasing paranoia, the movie does a fantastic job of showing Neve’s disorienting mental state. Are the ghosts real? Is Neve’s life real? It is genuinely hard to tell because of how frighteningly disorienting the narrative is presented. But whatever momentum the first half builds is lost.
After the big reveal, the movie turns into a generic thriller. Any interesting characters developed in the buildup are lost in the worst storyline of this movie. I almost turned the movie off because of how jarring and boring the shift became. The final minutes of the movie sort of makeup for the disappointment because of how well the actors do, but it wasn’t enough to save the movie from mediocrity. This movie had potential and even proved itself with a few scenes, but it doesn’t push the story enough.
The Strays is an okay thriller, and something you should check out if you have nothing else to watch. It isn’t a movie I would rush to see, but you won’t hate it if you sit through it. Check it out on Netflix when you are ready.
Image By Netflix – MovieInsider, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=73052905