Let Us Prey (2014)
Directed by Brian O'Malley
Written by David Cairns and Fiona Watson
Starring Liam Cunningham, Pollyanna McIntosh,
Douglas Russell,Hanna Stanbridge, Bryan Larkin,
Niall Greig Fulton, Brian Vernal, Jonathan Watson.
Rachel (Pollyanna McIntosh) is a rookie cop starting her first night shift in a small deserted Scottish coastal town.
Local boy racer Caesar is speeding through town and Rachel sees a strange man standing in the middle of the street just before Caesar runs him down. She rushes to the scene of the accident but the man is nowhere to be found.
She sees blood on the front of the car so she arrests Caesar and takes him back to the police station. There she gets acquainted with her new boss is a bit of a creep and a bit of a cunt as well. Two other cops on duty (and having a quickie) get the call to keep an eye out for the injured man and they soon arrive back at the police station with him. The strange man simply known as 'Six' (Liam Cunningham) is hesitant to answer any questions and doesn't say much other than some weird creepy shit. We slowly figure out that everyone in the station , cops and prisoners have skeletons in their closets and 'Six' is there to clean them out. He knows all their darkest secrets and he forces them to remember, letting each of them know that he knows. Everyone soon turns on each other and as the body count rises Rachel realises that this strange man 'Six' is a ghost from her forgotten past and in a building full of liars, killers and psychopaths he is the only one she can trust.
With stunning visuals of a deserted coastal town playing along to a Carpenter-esque electro-synth-guitar score the opening of this film reminded me of The Fog, just replace the rolling fog with crows all over the place. Then of course with 90% of the film being set inside a police station it also had shades of Assault On Precinct 13 all over it.
Pollyanna McIntosh was great as rookie cop Rachel, horror fans will remember her best for her performance in The Offspring (2009) and its' 2011 sequel The Woman, both based on books written by Jack Ketchum. She also starred in 9 Lives Of Mara, Bats:Human Harvest, Exam, Burke & Hare, White Settlers and the anthology Tales Of Halloween which is due out later this year. Irish actor Liam Cunningham has the standout role and deservedly so, his character is terrifying and oozes awesomeness at the same time. I've always though Cunningham was one of this country's most underrated actors, he's been in tons of genre films such as Dog Soldiers, Dario Argento's The Card Player, Blood:The Last Vampire, Centurion, Clash Of The Titans and is currently in TV's Game Of Thrones.
The pumping Carpenter-esque score from Irish composer Steve Lynch continues throughout the film keeping it running at a fast and smooth pace but its's dark deserted setting helps it keep its' gloomy and tense atmosphere. Every other character in the film is really unlikable but they're supposed to be so credit to the actors playing them. Gorehounds will definitely get a kick out of this as it has some cool FX and death scenes involving jail cell bars, broken glass, the leg of a table and a battering ram to the face to name just a few.
I already compared it to The Fog and Assault On Precinct 13 but I'm a massive John Carpenter fan and compare just about everything to his films. No one will deny that the film's score wasn't inspired by his music but a lot of films seem to be doing this lately and i'm loving every bit of it! One film that a lot of people will probably compare it to is Devil (2010) which I really enjoyed, even for something that was written and produced by M. Night Shyamalan.
Let Us Prey was an Irish/Scottish co-production so as an Irish man writing for an Irish horror website I'm always pleased to see homegrown horror, even more so when they turn out to be really good.
This film probably wont please everyone, some may find it a bit preachy in places and others might find it a bit disturbing. The ending is a bit crazy and over the top but I really enjoyed it and the big shootout reminded me of Arnie decimating the cop shop in The Terminator.
Brian O'Malley is definitely a director i'll be watching out for in the future and I hope to see more films like this from him. Hardcore horror fans should enjoy the 'hell' out of Let Us Prey just like I did.
I give it 4 and a half bloody shamrocks out of 5