The Strays: Review

My favorite person to argue with told me to watch this movie, and after watching the trailer, I was like, “OK. British Get Out.” His response was, “Yes, but it’s not.” So, in order to argue and out if curiosity, I decided to watch with my best friend.

Now, when you start watching the movie, it can absolutely seem like Get Out, but I found myself thinking more about passing. What do I mean by passing? If you think about the Alex Haley series Queen or the movie Passing starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga, these projects centered around the struggle these women had to endure while trying to achieve the “American Dream.” This is the vibe I got while watching this movie. Cheryl/Neve, in the early parts of this film, wants better for herself and better is white. Better is hiding who she is so she can live this fantasy, but the other kids have a plan. They want to surprise mummy, so they find her and start easy…her new kids.

Now, I’ve seen this play out a million times in movies. Someone wants to get back at someone so they just go after their kids. Easiest ploy, honestly. However, movies always make it so the kids just naturally gravitate toward these people. Maybe it’s because I don’t like people, but I’m not going to meet someone one day and the next, we’re best friends. Doesn’t make sense to me, but in the immortal words of Cinema Sins, movies has to movie.

Before we get to the bizarre ending of this film, let’s talk about its lack of backstory for Cheryl. Cheryl left her first family because, as she said on the phone, she wanted more from her life. Also, based on the message left for her before she left her flat, she did seem like she was in an abusive situation.

Fast forward to Carl and Dione breaking into the house. The entire sequence of events that follows them breaking into the house is strange and bizarre at best. First, Carl and Dione present no weapon to these FOUR people in this house. No one in this house thought, “I can take these two weaponless people in our house.” Nope. These people decided to look distressed and go along with the antics of these two wayward children. Sidenote, I could never tell if Dione had some sort of a mental illness. She just seemed too odd to be “normal.”

The dad didn’t do anything to anyone, so why did you make this man lift these weights? Just killed a man for no reason? We didn’t see their backstory either so we didn’t know if this had a deeper meaning or not. If it did, we missed that as an audience.

Here’s where my best friend and I had the best laugh of our night. Cheryl got her purse and a coat….and left these four kids. Before she left, she did apologize. To who, specifically, we’re not sure, but she did acknowledge that she was a terrible person for leaving her kids….and then left them all. I could not help but laugh so hard. Why would you end such a serious thriller-like movie with a laugh? Now, I realize that not everyone might have laughed at that scene, but I would argue that the majority of us did.

All in all, I think I could have skipped this and been ok. I read a few articles about the ending and it didn’t make it better. Made it funnier and worse actually. What do you think? Did you laugh at the end, too?

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