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|Directed by||Anthony Gonzales|
|Presented by||Gaten Matarazzo|
|Voices of||Peter Giles|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||21–26 minutes|
|Original release||October 25, 2019|
Prank Encounters is an American comedy horror web television series, which made its debut in 2019. It is a prank show recorded with hidden cameras. Each episode follows the concept of two strangers that are unwittingly introduced to each other by show actors, under the ruse of a tryout for a new job. Subsequently a predetermined sequence of scripted scares occur in order to scare the participants for comedic value. The show is hosted by Gaten Matarazzo, who plays the role of Dustin Henderson in the Netflix original show, Stranger Things.
- Jack Crawford
- Mary Gallagher
- Sven Holmberg
- Julian Gant
- Olivia DeLaurentis
- Gaten Matarazzo
Prank Encounters was released on October 25, 2019, on Netflix streaming.
|No.||Title||Original release date|
|1||"Teddy Scareee!"||October 25, 2019|
|2||"End of the Road"||October 25, 2019|
|3||"Face to Face"||October 25, 2019|
|4||"Urgent Scare"||October 25, 2019|
|5||"Camp Scarecrow"||October 25, 2019|
|6||"Storage War of the Worlds"||October 25, 2019|
|7||"Fright at the Museum"||October 25, 2019|
|8||"Split Party"||October 25, 2019|
The Daily Dot had unfavorably compared the series to Punk'd and criticized the reactions, stating "Netflix's Prank Encounters is a riff on Punk'd, but it doesn't do anything to set itself apart. [...] The reactions from the people getting pranked (who are not supposed to be actors) are so formal and stiff that it feels like watching bad improv."
When the series was announced back in June 2019, there was controversy regarding the premise of the show being disrespectful towards people in search of employment. A spokesperson for Netflix stated that individuals involved were financially compensated for their time and had fun being in the show. When the series launched later in October, the executive producer of the show, Kevin Healey, reassured to Entertainment Weekly that individuals pranked were aware the job they took was only for one night, and that they were indeed paid afterward. Host of the series, Gaten Matarazzo, also responded to the initial controversy when the show was announced on his Instagram account. Matarazzo stated, "Thank you guys for your concern for these people. It means so much to me and the rest of the producers of the show. We hope you enjoy the show, and we are very excited to show you all what we've created [...]."
- "Prank Encounters". IMDb. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
- GUALTIERI, JACQUELINE (October 21, 2019). "Dustin From 'Stranger Things' Is Coming to Prank You in Netflix's 'Prank Encounters'". distractify.com. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
- "Netflix Series Prank Encounters". Netflix. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
- Weston, Christopher (October 30, 2019). "Netflix: Audiences blast Prank Encounters as "fake" on Twitter!". HITC Culture. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
- Idika, Nicky (October 28, 2019). "Is Netflix's Prank Encounters real or not? Fans think Gaten Matarazzo's new show is "fake"". PopBuzz. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
- Schroeder, Audra (October 24, 2019). "Netflix's 'Prank Encounters' is just 'Punk'd,' 15 years too late". The Daily Dot. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
- Gajanan, Mahita (June 19, 2019). "Netflix Defends Prank Show Starring Stranger Things Actor Following Backlash". Time. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
- Rice, Lynette (October 25, 2019). "Everyone who participated on Prank Encounters had fun and got paid, says exec producer". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 31, 2019.