Netflix series Prank Encounters makes you wonder if it is all fake, yet the entertainment value and surprises in store make it an amusing viewing.
As you may or may not know, new reality Netflix series Prank Encounters was a victim of Twitter when the premise of the show was revealed. Gaten Matarazzo (otherwise known for playing Dustin on Stranger Things) creates pranks on unknowing folk. The pranks are supernatural, spooky and over-the-top. Now, the “controversy” is born from the fact that the people getting pranked believed they had a job. “How dare you take advantage of people!” Twitter cried before looking for their next outrage. “This is not entertainment” tweeted the man who believes that the MCU releases too many films a year and causes him fatigue.
But as usual, social media loses context in these things. Everyone who is pranked in Prank Encounters believed they were on an hourly-gig, a one-time thing, and also, Netflix f–king paid them for the one-off job advertised. So there is no controversy whatsoever. It’s a prank show — the end.
But is it good? Well, the cynical side of my brain does wonder if the people getting pranked are also actors. Still, the setting, story and pranks themselves are so outrageously entertaining that I pushed my cynicism to one side and sustained my belief that this was a game.
The opening episode involves an innocent babysitter visiting a privileged, wealthy family who wants her to look after their daughter. The family arrange for a charity to pick up toys while she is babysitting; one of the toys is a big bear, and the young daughter claims it will hurt everyone in the house if it is removed. That’s the prank — supernatural toys that eventually spring to life and cause violence to those residing in the house.
Netflix series Prank Encounters likely has longevity for two or three seasons. It’s on the surface, enthusiastic approach to the pranks maintain a level of entertainment that fits nicely in 25-minute episodes. The actors who play out the pranks are questionable at times, forcing the belief that the entire set-up is fake. Still, you hold on anyway, hoping for a breathtaking conclusion to something rivetingly elaborate. Prank Encounters is most certainly worth a watch.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.