TAD 2014: Let Us Prey
Game of Thrones’ star Liam Cunningham gets to indulge in his darker side in Let Us Prey, an entertaining homage to the 80s genre films that the likes of John Carpenter use to make. In the film Cunningham plays a mysterious stranger, only known as Six, who appears on the outskirts of a small town. It just so happens that his appearance coincides with Police Constable Rachel Heggie’s (Pollyanna McIntosh) first day working at the town’s remote police station. Upon making her first arrest, the drunk driving teen Caesar (Brian Vernal) who crashed into Six, Heggie quickly realizes that her dedicated demeanour is not appreciated by her co-workers (Douglas Russell, Jennifer Mundie, Bryan Larkin). She is viewed as being “stuck-up” and told to mind her place in the overall pecking order.
When the seemingly wounded Six is found, his presence at the police station causes shockwaves for everyone. The police officers and the prisoners locked up begin to have visions of the dark secrets they have been harbouring. Curious as to how Six knows about these heinous deeds, several of the individuals, including Sargent MacReady (Douglas Russell), are determined to do everything in their power to silence Six and everyone else in the police stations before their secrets get out.
Featuring a cool Carpenter-esque score and crisp cinematography, Brian O’Malley’s feature film debut is a violently thrilling romp. If the sight of a deranged bible quoting Sargent MacReady, adorned in a crown of barb wire no less, does not bring a devilish smile to your face, then clearly Let Us Prey is probably not a film you. O’Malley takes much glee in reveling in the seedy and dark nature of man. By making Heggie the moral core of the film, he is able to create a sense of mystery as to which side of the coin she will ultimately fall on. After all, even the most righteous individual can only take so much before they themselves snap.
Though Heggie is the only one whose past was ultimately beyond her control, her desire to right all the evils in the world is what makes her such an interesting character. Pollyanna McIntosh is quite good as the tough as nails cop who is emotionally crippled on the inside. She tries desperately to keep her head above water, while those around her drown in a pool of corruption. McIntosh manages to keep the film interesting even in its most insane moments. Despite the biblical allegory that runs throughout the film, Let Us Prey is not as deep as it may appear on the surface. Not that it is the film’s intention mind you, Brian O’Malley’s main goal is to present a genre film that is both full of energy and unabashedly entertaining. In those regards he succeeds as Let Us Prey is one violently fun night out at the movies.