The Strays on Netflix: The true story that inspired new film

the strays on netflix based on a true story
The true story that inspired The Strays on NetflixNetflix/YouTube

The Strays is a new psychological horror film that's just dropped on Netflix. Written and directed by Nathaniel Martello-White, IMDb's official synopsis reads: "A Black woman's meticulously crafted life of privilege starts to unravel when two strangers show up in her quaint suburban town."

While - since its release - the film has been compared to 2017's Get Out and 2007's Funny Games, Martello-White has recently revealed that the plot actually stems from a true story he once heard from his mother.

Speaking to Radio Times about his feature debut, he explained: "[It] was about a woman who essentially was denying the fact that she had two Black children."

"[She also] had two children, who were very fair-skinned and almost white-passing, and this woman was biracial. And I was just really struck by the kind of complexities of that, like, what would make somebody feel like they had to erase their past and deny it?" he added.

During the interview, Martello-White also opened up about a "really interesting conversation" he'd had with his mother about generational trauma.

"She's also biracial - and she was sort of talking to me about her experiences as a biracial woman and kind of traversing different cultures and classes and sometimes being perceived as almost white and kind of how people would treat her."

"And then the odd sort of slip, and then there's a microaggression or something, which actually is quite offensive, or quite shocking," he continued.

The 40-year-old also revealed that the first time he heard this true story was the same year that he saw Get Out. He was taking part in the BFI Network (a program that supports new and emerging filmmakers) as part of the London Film Festival and recalls being asked repeatedly about what his first feature film should be.

"I sort of came away from that experience being like, it had to be something really personal that sort of explored race in a really complex way," he explained, before concluding with: "But also have a genre element to it that kind of made it more universal and far-reaching."

The Strays is now streaming on Netflix.

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