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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Let Us Prey

May 24th, 2015

Let Us Prey - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

Let Us Prey is a British / Irish co-production that was first released in 2014 and was featured in a few film festivals during the year. However, it is only getting a Direct-to-DVD release in the States. There are a lot of horror movies that are released Direct-to-DVD, many of which are terrible. Can this film stand out? Or is there a reason it didn't get a theatrical release?

The Movie

The film begins with ... I don't know. There's a storm on the beach, a Man standing up on some rocks, and lots of birds flying around. We follow this flow of birds to town, with the man following them.

We then switch to Rachel Heggie, who wakes after having a nightmare of something that happened to her as a child. She's a cop in her small town of Inveree and is working the nightshift. While walking to work, she sees a Man, the same man from the opening, just walking in the middle of the street. A young man, Caesar, comes speeding along in his car and smacks right into the man, only when Rachel and he looks, there's no man there. She still arrests him and brings him to the police station. That's where we meet Rachel's new boss, Sgt. MacReady, who informs her that Caesar is a regular.

Next we meet Jack Warnock and Jennifer Mundie, two more cops. When we meet them, they are having sex in their cop car. Not exactly ideal cops. After they're done, Sgt. MacReady gets in contact with them and Rachel Heggie tells them to be on the lookout for the Man she saw. Finally, they take Caesar down to the lockup, where the only other prisoner is Ralph Beswick, who is in there for beating his wife. He is also a regular.

During this time, we also get hits of Rachel Heggie past, but before her and Sgt. MacReady get too deep into her past, Jack Warnock and Jennifer Mundie return with the Man. Clearly he's the one that was hit, but her refuses to say his name, or anything else, while he had no I.D., just a small notebook full of names. He was injured and they call Dr. Duncan Hume. He checks out the man, but his injuries are superficial, so he concludes his silence is voluntary. MacReady decides to lock him up for the night. Technically they can book him on vagrancy, but in reality, they just don't want him on the streets, in case he walks in front of another car. The doctor comments that it is strange he never saw him before, because it is such a one horse town. That's when the man say, "And it's a pale horse." With that, the doctor has a flashback / hallucination and after saying the man knows everything, the doctor tries to kill him.

That's enough of the setup. From here on in, we start to run into spoilers.

First of all, I've seen this movie before when it was called The Traveler. That movie was, well, bad. It spoon-fed the audience too many clues, as if they didn't think the audience was smart enough to figure out what was happening. Because of that, there was no tension in the movie. Let Us Prey, on the other hand, does have some great moments of tension. And then all hell breaks lose. At this point, the tension is mostly diminished and replaced with more action and gore. I preferred the first half. The acting by Liam Cunningham is clearly the best part of the movie, but that's not to say the rest of the acting is bad. It's just that without a commanding performance by Liam Cunningham, the film would have fallen apart. As it is, Let Us Prey is still only okay. It uses a fairly common trope of a mysterious stranger arriving amongst a group of people, all of whom have their dark secrets. This stranger is there to make sure people pay for their sins. The script doesn't do enough with this trope to stand out, but the execution is good enough that it should entertain fans of the genre.

The Extras

The only extra on the DVD or Blu-ray is an 11-minute making of featurette.

The technical presentation is good, but not great. It is a relatively low budget film and a lot of it is shot in dark locations, so there's not a lot of detail, nor are the colors often vibrant. The shadows are very deep, on the other hand, and that helps. The audio is likewise good, but not great. The dialogue is clear and there's enough activity in the surround sound speakers, but it is not the most dynamic track I've heard.

Right now, the Blu-ray costs just $10 on Amazon.com. That's half as much as the DVD costs.

The Verdict

Enough of Let Us Prey works that it is worth checking out for fans of the genre, but it never rises above the genre limitations. The DVD or Blu-ray don't have a lot of extras, but at just $10, the Blu-ray is worth the money.


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Filed under: Video Review, Let Us Prey, Liam Cunningham, Pollyanna McIntosh, Jonathan Watson, Bryan Larkin, Niall Greig Fulton, Douglas Russell, Hanna Stanbridge, Brian Vernel, Sophie Stephanie Farmer