Prank Encounters – Netflix Season 1 Review

Season 1

Episode Guide

Teddy Scare
End of the Road
Face Fears
Urgent Scare
Camp Scarecrow
Storage War of the Worlds
Fright at the Museum
Split Party


Impractical Jokers is arguably one of the best prank shows on TV. It’s smartly written, simple and plays on natural reactions to gauge the best laughs from the four friends and their victims. It’s such an amazingly simple concept and one that’s difficult to replicate. After riding a wave of bad publicity earlier this year, Prank Encounters drops on Netflix hoping to grab some of that lucrative sauce Impractical Jokers and other successful prank shows have managed to conjure up. Unfortunately the show fails to garner up laughs or compelling pranks, regularly leaving you wondering whether everything, including the unsuspecting victims, is set-up for our amusement.

Split across 8 episodes, Gaten Matarazzo takes the helm as executive producer as we dive into elaborately constructed pranks designed to play on the supernatural or horror elements before a big reveal at the end. Across the 25 minute episodes, a good 15 minutes of that is used for the set-up, as fictitious stories are used to sucker our victims into believing monsters, ghosts or haunted teddy bears are real before all hell breaks loose. Just as things reach their most dramatic crescendo, Gaten jumps out from behind the veil and reveals to everyone it’s all a big, elaborate prank. It’s a set-up that’s very familiar to anyone who watched Candid Camera or Punk’d but never quite achieves that same level of infamy.

In this day and age, many people are pretty suspicious when it comes to trusting strangers and even something as simple as giving out free samples is met with a contemptuous look. While I can believe these people fall for the original stories and do their best to play up to the role, when supernatural occurrences do actually start occurring, there’s a shocking lack of urgency or believable panic from anyone involved. While we’re told most of the cast on set are actors, they do a pretty poor job with their lines and most of the time it all feels contrived and wooden. The reaction from the victims is equally poor too and whether it be monotonous exclamations of “Oh my gosh” or sudden bursts of panic followed up by expressionless faces, Prank Encounters never settles into a natural rhythm nor does it ever feel like it’s a natural prank show.

In an age of YouTubers pranking each other and a whole host of people like Aaron Crascall or Michael and Morty propelling themselves to infamy through their pranks, Prank Encounters feels like a corporate attempt at the same thing and it falls flatter than the reactions of the victims at the end of the second episode in this series. Prank Encounters is a poor prank show and fails to really elevate itself beyond the contrived premise it sets for itself. A shame for sure but while some may enjoy this one, there’s far better content in this field to chew through, making this a difficult show to recommend.


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  • Verdict - 3/10

7 thoughts on “Prank Encounters – Netflix Season 1 Review”

  1. Prank Encounters wasn’t as bad as some reviews claimed. Its similar to Scare Tactics. The 8 episodes did its job & I was entertained. 7.5 of 10 rating …

  2. I’ve watched all 8 episodes & heres my honest opinion. The Bad Reviews I read prior to watching actually made to show enjoyable. It wasn’t as bad as the reviews stated but on the other side it’s not as entertainig as Scare Tactics. I was entertained while watching the 8 episodes. I’ll rate it 7 out of 10…

  3. It gave my family and I a few laughs here and there but it seems like some of the actors didn’t know the script to well. I think people would be more into this show if they actually tried a bit harder and maybe changed up. If certain actors actually became who they were supposed to be rather than stay in the same tone and person. But I do give them credit for trying and actually fooling these people. I also think if they stopped cutting parts to go back to the van it would keep the audiences attention.

  4. This is the worst show I have ever seen. Shame on Netflix for putting this out there and using up precious cloud bits that are out there possibly infecting other good shows. I am assuming the producer kid (I would look up his name but I dont care that much and have already lost parts of my life I will never get back.) is actually PAYING netflix to let him do this. The kid seems sweet but has clearly been overindulged into thinking that anyone outside of the one show he is on would know who he is….Sorry, but you arent Ashton Kucher and nobody knows who you are so you arent going to get the reaction you are looking for when you reveal yourself. The staging and acting is so so so so bad wasting what *could* have been maybe a slightly funny scenario. I can see how someone might keep watching since its like the train wreck that you cant look away from – its so bad you want to look away and know you should look away and that you will be scarred for life by what you are looking at and will just leave scarred and ashamed but you just keep watching hoping for some glimmer of return on the investment of life you will Never. Get. Back. Please Netflix dont let this continue. Just give the kid his own outtakes part in the other show….just no more of this please.

  5. My husband and myself had been waiting with much anticipation for the release of Prank Encounters and we not disappointed!!! We watched all the episodes on Friday the first day they were available and loved each of them !!! We found them to be funny, spooky and some parts out and out scary !!! We are definitely would rate all of them between an 8 an a 10 !!!

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