Let Us Prey (2014)
Directed by: Brian O'Malley
Written by: David Cairns, Fiona Watson
Starring: Brian Vernel, Bryan Larkin, Douglas Russell, Hanna Stanbridge, Jonathan Watson, Liam Cunningham, Niall Greig Fulton, Pollyanna McIntosh
LET US PREY (2014)
Directed by Brian O’Malley
Screened at Grimmfest 2014
Irish horror thriller LET US PREY from first time feature length director Brian O’Malley is everything you could possibly ask for: a bloody, witty, horrifying, action-packed whirlwind that will whisk you off your seat and slam you back down again. Incredibly dark with rib-tickling moments and others which will shock you to the core, O’Malley’s debut is a thrilling ride from start to finish.
The Woman star Pollyanna McIntosh stars as the gutsy cop Rachel who’s arrival at the new police station is anything but welcoming. Snide comments from her Sergeant MacReady (Douglas Russell) and her work colleagues PC Warnock and Mundie (Bryan Larkin and Hanna Stanbridge), never mind from the inmates in the overnight cells, leaves Rachel an outcast from the start. With the arrival of the mysterious stranger and the subsequent events which unfold, Rachel has to summon the strength and courage to survive the night.
Actress Pollyanna McIntosh is the perfect choice for the lead role that calls for a natural heroine who’s honest and well-intentioned with a real love for her job to catch criminals. Unfortunately, her colleagues don’t exactly think the way she does. It’s just as well that McIntosh’s Rachel Heggie isn’t some weakling and is someone who can handle herself when push comes to shove and gets to show off her kick-ass action skills!
Another stellar choice of casting is that of Liam Cunningham as the stranger Six. His long coated character sat brooding in a cell is terribly intimidating as both the characters and the viewer attempt to work out who is is and what his agenda is. The viewer is more informed about Six than the characters are but his abilities and reasons soon become clear to all in the final segment of the movie when things turn incredibly twisted and gory.
A talented cast and well-written script keeps the pace of the film hot and the viewer on the edge of their seats. The chemistry between the characters is electric, with each bouncing off the other in the desired way, be it cocky arrogance from hoodlum Caesar (Brian Vernel), snarky comments from PC Jennifer Mundie (Hanna Stanbridge) or cryptic conversations with the mysterious Six. The action and tension bubbles within the confines of the police station which itself becomes a character – a prison in which all are trapped, with only themselves to blame. Will they do enough to escape what lies in store for them?
What I love about LET US PREY is that it strikes the viewer with its raw, unwavering attitude. Its wit will make you belly laugh, its gore will freak you out and its action scenes will get your adrenaline pumping. The film delivers 100% on each of its themes, right up to its explosive climax.
A stylish, blood-thirsty, action-packed thriller, O’Malley has set the bar incredibly high for his first feature film and I cannot wait to see what’s next for the Irish director.