In Brian O’Malley’s Let Us Prey, a mysterious stranger by the name of Six (Liam Cunningham) rises out of the unquiet seas and spends the night in a little Scottish jail, picking off souls. But his quota doesn’t just include those behind bars…
Leave it to the UK to choose Halloween time to rise from the ashes. The situation isn’t all doom and gloom, but if the boring Blackwood (2014), the uneven Scar Tissue (2013) or the laughably weak Cutting Room (2015) are of any indication – we’ve had a pretty shit year for British horror. But every tide must turn, as I have been waiting for Let Us Prey to grace us with a DVD release since I saw it a year ago on the opening night of Grimmfest 2014. It had some stiff competition from the hilarious Suburban Gothic as well as outstanding short film The Herd, directed by Melanie Light.
Poor Pollyanna McIntosh: this gorgeous hard-ass wore out her welcome before she even arrived as she shares the graveyard shift with two lowlife co-workers at the station. Remaining steadfastly stiff-upper lipped and takin’ no shit from nobody, she quickly solidifies herself at the formidable Ellen Ripley type.
The fact that the bulk of the cast are a crew of unsympathetic lawbreakers whose crimes range from the tragic to the downright unspeakable leaves little to no room for potential likability. In effect, the Six character becomes less frightening, like a Hannibal Lecter that doesn’t eat people, you see him as a sort of moral janitor.
Despite being the identical movie twin of Robert Englund’s Inkubus (2011), Let Us Prey is the stronger of the two, being far less hammier with much better acting. Once Six is out of the cage the third act takes a wrong turn into slasher territory where the kills are concerned, but quickly resumes its rightful course.
There is a lot of darkness in Let Us Prey, but it wouldn’t a proper British horror film without a healthy sense of humour. We saved the best for last this year. However, it would be refreshing to see us produce a movie that can stand as tall as Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later (2002) or Neil Marshall’s The Descent (2005). Here’s hoping 2016 will be our year!