Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: A hiking trip into the wild turns into a desperate bid for survival for five friends on the run from a mysterious shooter.
Review: I love hiking and the outdoors and I love a good thriller, so when movies combine the two I’m always on board to see what the genre gods have cooked up. Some of these survival thrillers have gone on to become iconic like Deliverance, The River Runs Wild and I’ll even throw in the first Wrong Turn for good measure (although the last one is straight-up horror). But unfortunately Prey isn’t thrilling enough to be iconic…or memorable…or even worth the effort.
Written and directed by Thomas Sieben, Prey is a German film that stars a handful of people, some of whom will be recognisable to movie viewers. Five friends including two brothers Roman (David Kross of The Reader) and Albert (Hanno Koffler from The Red Baron) decide to go hiking and canoeing to celebrate Roman’s impending marriage. On their way out of the woods someone starts shooting at them and they’re forced to run back into the forest to seek cover and hopefully find a way out before the mystery sharpshooter kills them all. It’s a straightforward story and it telegraphs itself to the point where you will figure out the motive pretty quickly. But to say this movie is a slow burn would be an insult to slow-burn thrillers.
Visually the film looks great. With the exception of someone trying to kill you, this would be the kind of place I would love to go hiking or camping. The opening shot of the men paddling down the dark but beautiful river, lush green forests, and a couple of gorgeous mountain-top views are all captured here. But this is a thriller, and what we needed was a sense of how dangerous the outdoors could be or how easy it would be to get lost even without the added stress of someone hunting you down. None of this is utilised. The actors are all fine in their roles but we don’t spend enough time with them to really care one way or another what happens to them.
The motive for the killer’s actions will be fairly easy to figure out but they try to add a twist here that did nothing to improve the story; quite the opposite in fact. On one hand I applaud them for going in that direction (sometimes people be crazy and innocents get caught in the middle) but on the other hand deciding to create this disconnect between “predator” and “prey” only succeeded in weakening the overall story.
Throw in an abrupt and unsatisfying ending and all you’re left with is a movie that you’ll watch and then immediately forget about. Don’t waste your time on this one folks, Prey isn’t worth it when there are so many other survival thrillers to choose from.
Sommer’s Score: 4.5 out of 10
So what’s your favourite survival thriller film? And you can check out more thrilling reviews below:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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