The presence of a moody stranger in a police cell instigates carnage amongst both the other prisoners and the police.
Films with punning titles are usually punningly awful but, ‘Let us Prey’, with its religious undertones is a rare exception. Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) as Six is a moodily silent stranger arriving in a backwater Scottish town where he ends up in a police cell along with three others who have been newly incarcerated. Add into the mix Rachel (Pollyanna McIntosh), a new female cop on her first night shift, a pair of other officers who are no strangers to doling out their own brand of summary justice and a brutal station sergeant, and the stage is set for an increasingly bloody night.
The other inmates find that Six’s very presence slowly beginning to affect their behaviour as they start to believe he knows more about them than he should. As he watches them it gradually descends into ever escalating bedlam.
Not a perfect film by any stretch but director Brian O’Malley’s debut feature film has a lot going for it. With its low key, low lit and at times almost expressionist use of shadow and a story that prompts a wonder as to just where it is all going. There is something that clearly ties them all together and it’s that element of the story forcing the audience to piece the various strands together which is part of its attraction and in that respects is similar to ‘Identity’ with John Cusack. With a town that is mysteriously empty and a cast of characters each with issues and murky secrets you know it’s going to be a long dark night with little chance of it ending well.
It’s got its faults with its knowledge of police procedure utterly ludicrous in places with groundless arrests and missed opportunities to arrest (a character is found with a knife but is not arrested for possession of an offensive weapon) but there is a simmering tension throughout which culminates in a crescendo of carnage.
Unexpectedly this is a film funded by of all sources the National Lottery and for such a gruesome plot it’s a wonder if they actually read the script as it does seem at odds with the films they have previously funded. This is a cracking little horror film with supernatural overtones overlooked on its original release earlier this year but for fans of the genre there is plenty to be appreciated culminating in a climactic scene that is truly insane.
Words: Simon Hooper @anygoodfilms