Reviewer: Fiona Georgiou Hunt

Writer and Director: Mukunda Michael Dewil

Prey begins with an intriguing premise that blends elements of survival thriller with horror. The film begins by following a young couple, Andrew (Ryan Phillippe) and Sue (Mena Suvari), who find themselves in a harrowing situation after fleeing their Christian missionary post in the Kalahari Desert. Forced to board a rickety plane piloted by a corrupt smuggler, Grun (Emile Hirsch), their escape is thwarted when the aircraft crash-lands in the middle of an animal reserve teeming with dangerous predators.

Prey attempts to offer a thrilling exploration of survival instincts amidst dire circumstances. However, despite its gripping premise, Prey is not without its flaws. At it’s core the film is not quite clear if it is a horror or a thriller. We see the results of some horrific events, but we never see actual attacks on the characters as they are picked off one by one. This leaves room for ambiguity within the story and the minds of the viewers. Similarly, there are suspenseful moments, but we don’t get enough back story of any of the characters in the story set up to really care about them, so we don’t truly invest in their journey

The story begins well with some impressive landscape shots that create a compelling sense of place. However, not long into the film the story begins to grapple with believability. We witness the characters’ improbable survival attempts against overwhelming odds on the one hand, with obvious missed opportunities to protect themselves on the other. Plot holes and inconsistencies detract from the overall immersion, diminishing the impact of the film’s gripping moments and our willing suspension of disbelief.

While Prey offers a thrilling and atmospheric premise, supported by well regarded cast members, the film ultimately doesn’t meet it’s potential mainly through its plot weaknesses.

Die-hard fans of survival thrillers may enjoy this blend of human conflict and primal danger, in an exotic location.

Prey!is available on Digital Platforms and DVD 29 April. Distributed by Signature Entertainment.

Sedulous Survival Story

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