Prey, The | Varied Celluloid

Prey, The

Posted by Josh Samford On August - 4 - 2010
The Plot: Something isn’t right at the North Point, Keen Wild, Colorado; someone… or something is going around killing campers in grisly ways. However, the bodies of the victims are never found, so they’re reported as disappearances. That is until a group of van driving teenage campers ride in to spend some fun times in the wilderness. It is here that the killer/creature/humanoid starts to take their lives. The forest rangers finally take notice of the missing campers and act upon the disappearances. But as the campers move on without their friends and they finally do come across our killer, they will eventually discover the killer’s motivation and a bizarre demise may await those who learn of its secret…


The Review
First of all, I would just like to say that I don’t hate slasher films, for they are a sub-genre of horror that with enough creativity, imagination and originality can be very enlightening for the horror loving audience. I have not been accused of hating slasher films; I just wanted to make that statement clear before reviewing this unabashedly unoriginal piece of sleep inducing crap (I’m not even going to try to construct some sort of thesis statement, even though I’m sure I’ve been avoiding them in my more recent reviews). As you can immediately tell, we have one of the most copy-pasted set ups to a slasher film in horror movie history, a dump truck load of clichés and lame characters that makes us wish they would die faster. Seriously, there was only one character I found likable in this movie and his role was one of the most infinitesimal expositive roles in the entire film (the good part on my behalf was that he survives)! They Prey sucks on practically every level: it defies most forms of critical intelligence, uses dialogue as if it weren’t an important commodity in film making, does nothing original with just about everything and is one of the most boring, inactive horror movies ever made.

The acting and dialogue was pretty bad as the characters are either flat and trying painfully to be comical or just complete bastards. Most of them are more stereotypical than the cast to the game ObsCure and we get to listen to them repeat dialogue or just say something stupid and out-there for no reason. Dealing with these characters for twenty minutes feels doubled as their scenes consist of nothing important. The eventual attrition of these characters comes so fast that the death scenes are unappealing, not shocking and hardly satisfying.

The cinematography wasn’t a joy to sit through either as continuity was highly dependent on random shots of the lead park ranger playing the banjo (as if to state he’s not doing his job, patrolling at night, I guess) and padding of animal stock footage. Oh yes, there is Padding by Stock Footage in this movie, but not the good kind (and by good I really mean tolerable); this isn’t like the animal stock footage in Hell of the Living Dead where it’s unintentionally funny, but still relatively consistent with the setting/pace of the movie. The padding in the movie is terrible as we get random three minute long shots of forest animals…doing nothing. Seriously, after two expositive scenes surrounding the opening credits, we get to watch animals doing their daily routines with NO MUSIC going on in the background or anything worth the attention of the viewer.

I keep getting the feeling that the director had an unmentioned inner meaning to all of these shots, like humans intruding in on nature’s daily cycle. However, even if that was the case, I still wouldn’t feel that it was inquisitively applied as just about anyone can apply a meaning such as that to any story or movie in dozens of better, less mind numbing ways. Let me tell you what you’re in for when you pop in The Prey: you get to see a bee collect honey while stupid people are singing in a van fifty yards away from it and you get to see close-ups of a centipede crawling along the underside of a log as marching boot sound effects are layered over it… No, I’m not kidding. Yes, this is a Slasher film. The only time the animal stock footage was remotely entertaining/active was when they were eating while the teens were eating, as some sort of blatant symbolization of survival through consumption (which, if that was the case, really didn’t make much relevance in the movie; the killer doesn’t EAT his victims). At least in films like Slave of the Cannibal God we got to see animals VIOLENTLY eating each other or screaming loud enough to keep our attention going.

The soundtrack to the movie mostly consisted of minimalist orchestrated tracks that only shows up when someone is being chased or killed. This soundtrack unfortunately includes a sort of remix of the exact song used in Disney’s Fantasia when the Stegosaurus fought the Tyrannosaurus. Yeah, every running scene in this movie can be used for dinosaurs fighting each other. Word of advice for horror movie composers: never use something the audience immediately recognizes from their childhood.

The only really likable aspect about the movie I could find was the senior park/forest ranger who served as that expositive character I told you all about. He talked about one of the only creepy things present in the movie which made for some vicariously poignant imagery and a brief escape out of this dullard of a Horror movie!

The opening of the movie shows a forest fire which is a little confusing at first because there’s a lot of people screaming as the trees are burning; this was actually kind of creepy at first because I thought maybe the trees were alive and would later reveal themselves to be the real killer (but then again, maybe that wouldn’t be a good thing… remember The Happening?). Anyway, the Senior Park Ranger talks about this scene later explaining where the screams were coming from: apparently the forest fire left reached into a cave full of cultists whose bodies were burnt into a circular dome formation that the rangers couldn’t pry apart.

THAT sounds like a scene from a low budget Horror movie ten billion astronomical units better than this entire movie altogether, but do we get such imagery in the film? NO! We’re deprived of it and forced to watch a dull movie that’s not even easy to laugh! After the exposition is done, it’s easy to infer the plot idea on the rise that’s subtly cued in via the further content of the exposition and the incessant animal padding, but seeing that none of it got any screen time to be explained, we’re left just about plot-less.

I was surprised to find that The Prey stars Carel Struycken from The Battle for Endor TV series (Yeah, I’m a nostalgic nerd, so what)! It also stars a male porn star and a few other actors and actress’ that have made their own claim to fame, but I was amazed to see the portfolio of the director of this movie, Edwin Brown, who has directed at least ten or more adult films and only had a brief involvement with two horror films: Body Experiments and THIS. I don’t know about the rest of you, but anyone who has had some good experience in the Adult film industry that wants to play their direction at Horror films has the great potential to create something memorably exploitive or at least cheesy and overall enjoyable. Think about it though: this man who has had experience in Adult films and decided to make a Horror movie starring a porn actor and King Terak… and THIS is the movie he made??


The Conclusion
All in all, I am highly against anyone from watching The Prey as for the most part the movie consists of nothing, has a premise that is built upon nothing and really should have been nothing to begin with. If you want to catch some good shut eye, then you can watch the movie if you feel so inclined; I remember the first time I watched this I kept falling asleep. However, if you’re wide awake, sober or looking for something good to rent, then I implore you to look further; this movie is not for attentive eyes or minds.

Stinger: “Officer?! Do I look like a cop?”



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Varied Celluloid is a film website intent on delivering views on movies from all genres. Started in 2003, the website has been steadfast in its goal and features a database of over 500 lengthy reviews. If you would like to contact us about writing for the website or sending screeners, please visit the about page located here.

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