Despite the brief description, this Netflix exclusive it’s not the home invasion horror thriller you’d think it would be…. kinda, since it’s clearly borne of the rise of “social horror”, it’s hard to not cite the obvious one here, since The Strays it’s clearly trying to walk in the path of Get Out.
And not really working for reasons i’m gonna explain after outlining the plot.
The Strays follows a light skinned woman called Neve, which leads a successful life as a vice-president of a private school (and a very white one) in a tiny but wealthy english suburb, and is overall well regarded by her peers, while she basically 100 % absorbed and perpetuates the mannerism of the white, rich and pastoral kind, having fundraisers for “less fortunate people”, not denying that they’re black but discouraging every aspect it might entails.
She is so immersed in this performative way of living that just the sight of two new black people in the ‘burbs is enough to shock and appall Neve, believing they “have it in” for her, or whatever.
The film tries to tackle themes of racism, class privilege, internalized self-repression, the set-up it’s good and promising, but then in the second act it kinda peters out as we go in flashback mode (plus the self-serving and unnecessary chapterization of events), and despite the final sequence being intense…. it just ends in a ironic fittingly way, as, despite all the things the movie wants to address, by the end it just quits in giving actual answers, undermining its very intention for commentary.
Frustrating, as there is something here that makes it worth a punt, the performances are solids, some scene quite intense, but the characters are lacking and the execution it’s disappointly non-committal despite intentions of doing so.