Indie Film Review: 'The Prey'


Written and Directed by: Jimmy Henderson


VOD (August 25): Including: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, Vudu,  Direct TV, Dish Network and all major cable providers.

The first thing that struck me as I watched the press screener for The Prey, which opens in virtual theaters this week, was the growing number of movies with the same or similar themes and that it can basically be classified as its own genre now. The film is yet another adaptation of the short story "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell, which was first adapted to film back in 1932, and presents the idea that man is the most dangerous animal of all when pushed to the limits of survival. Since then, we have seen this same idea in a lot of young adult series. Quite possibly the most notable one is The Hunger Games franchise. There is also the 1987 Red Letter Media favorite film Deadly Prey. As far as television is concerned, the influence has also reached episodes of The Simpsons, American Dad, Star Trek, and Supernatural


The Prey has a simple but effective story: an Interpol officer undercover in a DMZ investigating a counterfeit ring is captured and put into a corrupt prison that uses its inmates as a wild game for rich hunters. Early on in the film, there is a character who speaks the movie's theme aloud to the main character. The corrupt prison warden has the Interpol agent strapped to a the wall and is electrocuting him while fun music plays from a radio, which may perhaps up some viewers' memories of the torture scene from Tarantino's Resevoir Dogs. The warden tells him that finding that the breaking point between man and animal is his passion. 


Shortly after this scene, we have our perfect cocktail recipe for mayhem. You have your rich hunters who arrive and want to hunt the prisoners, Interpol has used a tracking device for their agent and has arrived on scene, and the hunt is getting too close to a nearby village. All of this leads to several action scenes that are crisply choreographed and keep the film on a frenetic pace. The lead actor was especially impressive with his speed and precision. There is a martial arts fight near a river about halfway through the film which I found to be the highlight of the film.


Coming in at just under 90 minutes, the film does not overstay its welcome. I was actually surprised at how abruptly the film ended after the climactic battle in the village, which unfortunately had issues similar to the Battle of Winterfell from Game of Thrones where it was somewhat hard to tell what was going on due to how dark it was. As for the abrupt ending, I do not think that the film answered the question of what happens when humans are pushed to the brink of survival. In the end, I think the filmmakers want us to answer that question ourselves. 

Written By Michael Schatz

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