Nathaniel Martello-White is making his directorial debut with the release of Netflix’s latest black horror The Strays on 22 Feb 2023.
Ashley Madekwe is starring in the main role of Neve, a promising black woman who is living an idyllic life in the suburbs of London with her caring family while working at a private school.
Valentina Brazzini, Tristan Goligher, and Rob Watson are producers of this middle town thriller which have produced the film under Air Street Films and The Bureau Productions.
Where was The Strays filmed?
The Strays was filmed in its entirety in England, specifically in London, Suffolk, Berkshire, and Wiltshire. Filming of the movie took place between September 2021 and November 2021 within England, United Kingdom.
The picturesque villages of Lavenham and Kersey were used for the filming purposes. While Lavenham was one of the two Suffolk villages that were transformed into an English suburb, Kersey served as the main location for Britbox drama MagPie Murders.
Some locals also reported that filming was taking place in autumn 2021 and the main square at Kersey High Street was closed for various days during the production days. Berkshire and Wiltshire are two of the ceremonial countries in England known for their historic importance and beautiful landscapes.
Is The Strays true story?
Even though, the film is not based on a real incident, it was initially inspired by a true story that the writer and director Nathaniel Martello-White was once told by his mother.
When Martello was asked by a reporter, he said that he spent most of his time in middle-class environments and Neve is going through the same, she is white passing to a certain extent. Instead of taking inspiration from a single event, the creator said it’s more about generational trauma.
The movie follows Loretta as she dives deeper into the mystery, uncovering the truth of a dark past and the real intentions of the figure known as the Strays. Along the way, Loretta is forced to confront the demons of her own past and confront her own prejudices.
The Strays Cast & Characters
Ashley Madekwe as Neve
Neve is a biracial woman who appears to have it all together, with a successful career, a beautiful home in Castle Combe, and a family.
However, it soon becomes clear that Neve is living a facade, and that beneath the surface of her seemingly perfect life is a deep darkness. As the story progresses, Neve must confront her past and her secrets in order to save her family.
Bukky Bakray as Abigail
She is the sister of Marvin, the two of whom were abandoned by their mother Neve when she ran away from their abusive home in London.
Abigail and Marvin seek revenge against Neve, and Abigail infiltrates her family by getting a job working for Neve’s husband and befriending their daughter, Mary. However, Abigail’s efforts to get close to Neve ultimately backfire.
Jorden Myrie as Marvin
He is Abigail’s long-lost brother who has been living on the streets for some time. He befriends Sebastian and helps him to discover the truth about Abigail’s identity.
In the end, it is revealed that Marvin is actually Carl, the son of the deceased Mrs. Waterson, who Abigail was sent to live with as a child.
Samuel Paul Small as Sebastian
Samuel is the teenage son of Neve and Ian Williams. Sebastian is a rebellious teenager who is often at odds with his parents’ expectations of him. He is close with Abigail, a young woman he meets at school, and eventually develops a romantic relationship with her.
Maria Almeida as Mary
She is a soft-spoken teen who’s almost always obedient to her mom. When newcomer Abigail compliments her hair, she’s flattered she’s been noticed and quickly develops an infatuation with him.
Justin Salinger as Ian
A loving father to two teenage children, Sebastian and Mary.
Nicole Power as Shannon Ross
Shannon is a strong-willed and independent girl who is determined to make her own path in life.
The Strays Ending Explained
The movie ends with Neve abandoning all four of her children, implying that she was the one to blame for the events that had transpired.
This is further reinforced by the fact that the house slowly floods from a bath tap that has been left running, as Marvin brings Ian into the gym room and tortures him.
This suggests that Neve was so overwhelmed by her responsibilities that she neglected her children, leading to Ian’s death.
Ultimately, the movie serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of neglecting one’s responsibilities, and the consequences of not facing up to them.
Will there be a sequel to The Strays?
It looks like there is currently no confirmation of a sequel to the movie Strays. The movie’s popularity and ambiguous ending suggest that a sequel could eventually happen, but there is no official announcement yet.
The Strays has also been praised for its exploration of the creative ferment of its 1930s Australia setting, and for its engrossing and disturbing story like We Have a Ghost.
Moreover, it has received generally positive reviews from critics. Most have praised the performances of the cast, particularly that of Ophelia Lovibond, who plays the lead role of Lily, and the writing of writer-director Nathaniel Martello-White.
Common comments include praise for the movie’s exploration of themes like racism, child abandonment and wealth, and for its unique visuals and atmosphere.