Saturday, July 2, 2011

Prey (2010)

I'm not the type of guy who likes to go hunting. Oh sure, I love meat, but I was never one to sit out in the woods, waiting for some animal. Nonetheless, hunting and outdoors trips gone horribly wrong are a regular staple for horror films, from hundreds of "Backwoods Rednecks/Slashers" movies to "The Evil Dead." The idea of man being separated from civilization, only to come face to face with evils he wouldn't find in the suburban or urban world is one that can be exploited for all kinds of fear potential. It seems that France, who have been releasing horror regularly for a while now, realizes this, as Antoine Blossier's "Prey" proves.

Nathan (Grégoire Colin) is headed to a countryside retreat for his wife Clair's (Bérénice Bejo) family. When her dad is attacked one night by a terrified deer, Nathan and the men of the family decide to venture into the woods to see what could have spooked Bambi so much. Well, it turns out that it was a giant Wild Boar, and to make things worse, it's not alone. However, as tensions mount between the men, it seems like these animals might not be the biggest threat after all.

"Prey" isn't really the most original movie, as it could best be described as "Razorback" meets "The Descent." That out of the way, it turned out to be a nice little surprise that managed to keep my interest throughout, as the direction is pretty impressive, the acting is strong, and the characters, while not exactly the most likeable, are at least interesting. It also manages to keep a reasonable, suspenseful pace, with several scenes (in particular one involving a cell phone) that should keep the viewer invested. Also, nice to see a movie use real time FX work instead of lazy CGI for a change,

If it does run into any flaws, it's that other than Nathan and the rest of the family, we don't really get to know anyone else that well. For example, it would have also been nice to know a little more about Claire, as we don't know much about her other than she's pregnant and that she's Nathan's wife. I also found the conclusion to be a bit sudden, as if the director just thought "Well, that's it!"

Still, I found "Prey" to be a nice little movie that was certainly worth the Netflix streaming. Not a classic, but not a bad little movie if I do say so myself.

Rating: 7/10

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