By David Dent
Blumhouse strikes again with another slice of well made, teen-friendly horror.
Traumatised by the death of his father, who is attacked outside his home by thugs intent on boosting dad’s car, feckless high school senior Toby (Logan Miller), a guy with behavioural problems, is enrolled on the ‘Lost and Found’ programme, which aims to instil confidence and independence into young people lacking those qualities.
How this is achieved is probably Prey’s greatest WTF moment, as Toby – with post dad PTSD still messing him up – is deposited on an uninhabited Malaysian island and told to cope by himself for three days, before being picked up by project leader Kay (Jerrica Lai).
Predictably Toby is hopeless, but when he discovers that the island isn’t actually uninhabited, things initially start to pick up.
He meets seemingly sweet Madeleine (Kristine Froseth) who has clearly been an islander for a while, and she shows him the art of surviving, via fishing, creating shelter, that kind of thing. Toby starts to form a bit of an attraction, but he hadn’t reckoned on Madeleine’s protective mum, and also a monster of sorts who prowls in the shadows. When Kay turns up dead, and with her recovery boat destroyed, Toby begins to think he may have been better off alone after all.
This PG-13 mix of ‘Robinson Crusoe’ and ‘Predator’ is actually far more fun than it has a right to be. It’s pretty light on gore but the monster, once revealed, is fairly effective, and the lush vegetation of the island makes for a great backdrop.
You can probably guess the final reel twist just from this description, but director Franck Khalfoun (who made the 2012 ‘Maniac’ reboot) isn’t really interested in forging new ground content-wise. He’s happy just to have lithe young souls running around an island paradise for 90 minutes, and sometimes that’s enough.
Prey is available now from Signature Entertainment on Digital HD and DVD.