In honour of Halloween last night, my husband and I decided to pick a horror movie to watch and we saw a new one had popped up on the Sky box: Let Us Prey. This is my review.
Review - Let Us Prey
Great Horror Movie!
Title: Let Us Prey (2014)
UK Rating: 18
Cast:Liam Cunningham ... Six
Pollyanna McIntosh ... PC. Rachel Heggie
Bryan Larkin ... PC. Jack Warnock
Hanna Stanbridge ... PC. Jennifer Mundie
Douglas Russell ... Sgt. MacReady
Summary: PC Rachel Heggie is the newbie at a remote police station and on her way to work see a local hoodlum hit a mysterious man who disappears. With the hoodlum in custody PCs Warnock and Mundie are ordered to find the possibly injured man and when they bring him to the station strange things start to happen. People start dying.
This is an Anglo-Irish production and it's doesn't have the highest budget with lots of CGI and A-list actors and it is all the better for it. It is brilliant. I was gripped all the way through.
First a warning, this is a horror film that earns its 18 rating. It is bloody and very nasty in places. If that is not your cup of tea, then definitely do not watch this film.
This film does not have a cast of thousands, in fact the entire cast list at IMDB is 11 and mainly there are actually nine actors doing all the work. They do it splendidly.
This is a film about the characters. The horror is the people, not the mysterious forces at work conniving towards midnight. Yes there is gore and blood, but what is truly horrific are the characters littering the small town and what some of them have done. That is the whole point.
Be prepared to suspend your disbelief that so many horrible people are in one small space, and sit back and enjoy.
Liam Cunningham is a brilliant actor, I've never seen him in anything where he wasn't, and he is superb in Let Us Prey. He is the mysterious stranger who speaks rarely and with purpose and finds the dark centres of those around him. At times he is menacing, at others almost amusing, and always merciless.
Pollyanna McIntosh also shines as PC Heggie with her tattered past and desire to be a good police officer. She is the newbie, the outcast among the closed community that she doesn't really know and our gateway character into the film. She's tough, but also vulnerable.
All of the rest of the cast hold up their parts just as well, being arseholes, sadists, nutters and vaguely normal people in various degrees. This is a film of extremes, it's a horror movie after all, and the characters are done beautifully as the community we see goes from normal to nightmare in a few hours.
The set is limited, being mostly two rooms, which makes the claustrophobic ending just perfect. This is a stifled community with it's vulnerable, disturbing underbelly being revealed to the world and the main location reflects this perfectly. It's almost as if the presence of Six has taken the protagonists out of reality and time without them realising it, leaving them in their own world to make their mistakes.
I also thought the script was superb. It's gritty and real and has gems like this littered through it:
Dr. Duncan Hume: This is such a one-horse town.Every single character is damaged in some way and they show it through their actions and their words.
Six: And now it's a pale fucking horse.
The plot is driven by the people and the people are the plot. There are no high octane car chases, no wailing phantoms, no poltergeists, no grisly monsters, but just a touch of the supernatural as Six touches each of the gathered cast of characters. The way alliances shift and change is beautifully done and subtle in places. Realisation about the depths certain of the characters have gone to comes bit by bit and it is wonderfully paced. I enjoyed every second of it.
For once I also thought the ending to a horror film was perfect. I very rarely enjoy the end of horror films, they mostly annoy me even when the rest of the film has been good. Not so in this one. I loved the ending; it was just right. Have definitely added this to my wishlist.