MMT Quick Review: PREY

Well Blumhouse Productions has done it again. It’s taken a low-budget film, with high thrill value and increased the project’s visibility quotient. I’m referring to the new horror-thriller PREY, which was released yesterday in limited theaters, on-demand and digital.

In “Prey,” troubled teen Toby Burns (Logan Miller, Escape Room) dismisses a request from his father, who is subsequently killed during a carjacking. To cope with his father’s death, he enters a therapeutic program, Lost and Found, in which he has to spend three days and nights on a isolated island with just him and his thoughts. He soon learns the island is not “uninhabited” after running into another teen named Madeleine (Kristine Froseth, The Society) – as it becomes clearer that something else is lurking, and hunting, on the island and they’re both in danger.

Before I jump into what I enjoyed about this film, let me first state that my initial reaction to this teen being dropped off on a deserted was, “Oh, HELL NO” (insert a stronger word for hell, and you’d be close to what I actually said)!

I mean, who in his or her right mind would do this? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised in this age of “Survivor” that many people would raise their hands for that scenario, but not this kid! I wanted to see what was in his backpack that he’d brought! Did he have seasoning for the fish he needed to catch? Did he have matches or a proper lighter for fire? Did he at least bring a notepad to write/process his thoughts or a good book? Did he bring any water bottles? Seriously, I had plenty of questions.

Yet, despite my initial refusal to suspend disbelief, this film was intense, even with the limitations of the plot (limited cast, small setting) and Miller convincingly carried a lot of the weight, solely, for a good portion of the film. Even before he has to confront the dark entity that exists, he encounters several stressful situations while alone, that placed him in a horrific state of danger and contributed to the thrill of the story.

As it unraveled, and exactly what was happening on the island was revealed, I felt the premise wasn’t as original as it initially seemed.  However, that didn’t subtract from the entertainment value and I thought the scares were solid (minus a couple of the CGI effects that are shown, but no spoilers so I won’t elaborate 🙂 ).

In sum, “Prey” is a low budget film with a small cast, that is high on the thrills and big on the scare factor – especially if you can suspend disbelief long enough to get to the payoffs. And speaking of payoffs, the locale shots and cinematography in the film were exhilarating, offering hints of paradise that contrasted nicely with the elements of darkness in the story.

I definitely enjoyed the film and would rate it 3 out of 5 beats on the MMTrometer.

PS: you can check out the trailer – and ones for upcoming releases – at the new MMT YouTube channel here! Do me a favor and subscribe, and also follow me on Instagram @musicfilmdiva and Facebook! I have a few surprises coming, but I have to get my numbers up to support the changes. So if you enjoy my writing/sharing, let me know with a follow 😉

Until next thought, Thomasena

PREY synopsis

This horror-thriller from Blumhouse & Hyde Park with Director Franck Khalfoun (Amityville: The Awakening) follows Toby Burns (Logan Miller), a millennial coldly floating through life and disconnected from his family. After his father is tragically killed in a carjacking, Toby is left stricken with guilt. He is begrudgingly enrolled in a “Lost and Found” program, in which he will spend three days and three nights on a remote jungle island. Toby soon finds that this “uninhabited” island is not so lonely when he meets a mysterious girl named Madeleine (Kristine Froseth). It soon becomes clear that neither of them are safe here and time is running out. Someone or SOMETHING bloodthirsty lurks in the jungle, and Toby must find a way off this island before becoming its PREY…

Distribution Company: CinedigmTheatrical/VOD

Release Date: September 27, 2019

Written by: David Coggeshall, Franck Khalfoun

Directed by: Franck Khalfoun

Starring: Logan Miller, Kristine Froseth

Running Time: 85 minutes

Rating: PG-13

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