After making an impression at the Fantasia International Film Festival and the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, the Scottish/Irish-influenced horror film Let Us Prey arrives in a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack from Anchor Bay Canada and Raven Banner Entertainment (released on May 26, 2015). Fans of John Carpenter’s Assault On Precinct 13 or Stephen King’s Storm Of The Century may find the material familiar, but Prey certainly leaves an impression.
A rookie officer named Rachel (The Woman’s Pollyanna McIntosh) truly experiences the worst circumstances for her first ever shift on the force in a Scottish backwater town when a mysterious prisoner (Game Of Thrones’ Liam Cunningham) is brought to the 6th cell for holding. His presence immediately begins to take a toll on the officers and the prisoners around him, with all of them being pushed to the brink mentally due to their abhorrent actions and secrets they are keeping under wraps, but somehow the stranger is aware of. What ensues is absolute bloody carnage and chaos as Rachel tries to keep her station under control and avoid dying at someone’s hands.
Although much of the movie is predictable and not overly scary, Prey actually turns out to be kind of fun in a wicked way. Cunningham is delectably good as ‘6’ (which is a not-so-subtle nod to his true identity) and McIntosh holds her own as the female heroine, while the gory/bloody sequences and special effects are executed quite well.
The movie manages to capture the right atmospheric tone and just enough zany ideas to keep a viewer interested. It’s pace certainly starts off mysteriously enough and then ramps to full throttle on the visceral scale by the time the movie reaches its climax.
In Blu-ray high-definition the film looks quite stellar (presented in a 2.44:1 Anamorphic Widescreen), with a beautifully crisp and colorful image that backs up the creative camera shots. On standard DVD the film pops much less with a softer image but it remains a decent way to watch the movie.
On the sound mode side of things, the powers-that-be ensured that both discs have the exact same options; a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and a 2.0 surround. This is great for containing different options but disappointing for the Blu-ray that its audio effect is no different than its standard counterpart. Regardless, the movie does sound good and clear for a home theater system.
The only special feature attached to the edition is a ‘Making Of Documentary’ that in reality does not run long enough to be considered one. What it does do is provide some interviews with the cast and director Brian O’Malley; who clearly is a fan of grind house and gory pictures of years past. His enthusiasm can be felt in Let Us Prey and as a result it plays rather well.
Let Us Prey may be a recycling of sorts for past movies and stories, but it’s intriguing cast, motivated director and blood-soaked demented atmosphere certainly make it a memorable ride for interested parties. The Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack may have some issues being a sure thing for a buyer, but the movie itself makes a good case for indulgence.