Stars: Jamie Anderson, Sofia Pernas, Zachary Soetenga, Pierson Fode, Juanxo Villaverde, Lindsey McKeon, Mark Steger | Directed by Alastair Orr
Prey, also known as Indigenous, follows a group of tourists as they travel to the paradise of Panama for their post-graduation vacation. After meeting a few locals, the five friends decide to check out a supposedly magical waterfall deep in the jungle, despite others warning them of the lurking indigenous Chupacabras. After their guide vanishes, the group soon find they have fallen prey to something stalking them in the jungle.
In this day and age of instant gratification, the fact that a movie has taken two years to finally see the light of day in the UK – especially given how fast non-theatrical titles hit VOD these days – is usually a bad omen. And that’s totally true of Prey; a film which wastes 25 minutes of its already short, less than 80 minutes, running time on a travelogue style quasi-advert (the same of which can be said for a lot of the 80s Italian horror films we know and love) for the joys of Panama before the films group of ridiculously annoying characters venture out into the Panamanian jungle and run across the killer chupacabras – though even that’s not until the film is literally halfway over!
Director Alastair Orr spends more time – at least in the early portion of the film – focusing on the scantily-clad cast and their make-out sessions than he does building any story, or any empathy for his cast. Which means this is the type of film where you’re actually willing the central characters to die. Yes, Prey is filled with annoying characters doing stupid things. Making for incredibly frustrating viewing! Even Lindsey McKeon, so good in the likes of snow-set slasher Shredder, is throughly wasted as this movies only “named” star – seemingly asked to do nothing more that be a slice of this films eye candy, smiling and screaming on cue…
Prey‘s only plus points? The fantatic creature designs whch the filmmakers are NOT afraid to show; and which look superb – especially given the low-budget nature of the film (we know where the money was spent!) and the crescendo-like ending as a video shot, in the midst of a chupacabra attack on the gang, goes viral across the globe.
What starts out as a truly terrible film, Prey is raised above the rest of the flotsam by an ever-increasing, ever-improving story, just make sure you stick around long enough to enjoy it.
Prey is out now on DVD and VOD from 101 Films.