Dir.: Brian O’Malley
Starring: Pollyanna McIntosh, Liam Cunningham, Bryan Larkin, Hanna Stanbridge, Niall Greg Fulton
Indie supernatural-based horror and suspense films are as new as Donald Trumps’ countless -isms, but that should never allow aspiring film makers from offering their own spin on a genre that has been done to figurative death year after year.
Intimate yet thought-provoking thrills are on the doctrine of Brian O’Malleys’ Irish-British production with a capable cast, confident story-telling and an eye for blurring the edges of our reality and that of which lays beyond. A story about the evil within which manifests on the outside featuring Old Scratch (a cool and composed Cunningham) and The Woman‘s breakout actress Pollyanna McIntosh as strong-minded, two-fisted and determined PC who is forced to deal with a selection of dangerous criminals in a dangerous situation.
The fact Let Us Prey chooses to deal with its admittedly fantastical in an earthy manner is admirable in itself, but its ultimate strength is the people in front of and behind the lens. McIntosh makes for a competent and reliable anchor in a film which deals with the madness she is dropped into who has a simmering yet mature-minded chemistry with Cunningham who has taken a liking to her. The concept of dealing with one’s past sins and repentance will always provide a fascinating aspect of the human animal on screen, but what could have been a trashy B-grade film transforms into a mindful and subtly romantic version of Assault On Precinct 13 which doesn’t rely on cheap jump scares or sensational revelry.
Alternatively, given the film quite noticeably deals with the metaphysical (Satan, divine judgement and Christian theology), the film doesn’t make a judgement about religion or those who choose to believe in it. What you see in the film is generally what you get as it is not a personal statement made by the writers Fiona Watson or David Carins, it’s but a fiction made to suit another.
Although at face value Let Us Prey seems like a weird and nasty little schlock-fest, I assure you it is not content to revel in puerile pursuits, but it aspires to be more and it accomplishes this in ways you probably had not anticipated.