DreadWorld Review: 'Let Us Prey' (2015)


As we wind down 2015 it's become painfully apparent that we've been a little lazy writing reviews around the DW offices this year. With that in mind we are in full on scramble mode trying to get you, the avid reader, the reviews you deserve. That means that we may be cutting some corners, we think of it more as" trimming the fat," to get some of these reviews out before the end of the year and the vaunted DreadWorld Top 8 Films of the year column. So sit back, but don't get too comfortable because this review will be over before you know it.

Rachel (Pollyanna McIntosh) is a rookie cop ready to start her fist night shift when she sees a man get run over by a miscreant youth. She apprehends the youth but the man is nowhere to be seen. Her fellow officers manage to track the man down and bring him to the station. At first he refuses to speak, keeping an air of mystery about him. However, as the night wears on, Six (Liam Cunningham), as he is known by his holding cells name begins to assert himself over the rest of the officers and prisoners. It's up to Rachel to decipher who or what Six really is and what his motivations are.

The first thing that hits you as the credits for Let Us Prey roll is how damn cool Liam Cunningham is. Around these parts we've been fans of his since Dog Soldiers and we've followed his career through Dario Argento's The Card Player to his current gig as Davos Seaworth on HBO's hit 'Game of Thrones.' In Let Us Prey, Cunningham is at the top of his game. He's quiet and commanding, his voice never approaching more than just a whisper as he doles out punishment to those who deserve it. But his performance would mean almost nothing if there wasn't a yin to his yang. Here the yin is provided by another great performance from Pollyanna McIntosh. If that name rings a bell it's because she plays the titular roll in Lucky McKee's The Woman (review HERE), one of the best films of the last 15 years. Here McIntosh is more than equal to Cunningham, serving as the eyes of the audience, trying to resolve the mystery surrounding Six as the audience does the same.

Tremendous performances aside, first time director Brian O'Malley infuses the film with a life and an energy that sustains the narrative at a break neck pace. Often religious based horror films can get a little preachy, but not so with Let Us Prey. Any exposition is worked into the momentum of the narrative, so there are breaks in the films thrust. For a director to balance a films energy so well in his first swing out of the gate is quite an accomplishment. But it's not just the story that O'Malleys direction serves well, those that crave gore and carnage will be very happy with the mess Six makes out of the inmates and the cops.

Those expecting all the answers when the last reel rolls on the film are bound to be disappointed. O'Malley leaves Six's true identity up to the viewer. Is he the Devil himself? Is he just a demon sent to do Lucifers bidding? Or is he an emissary sent from heaven to pass judgement and punish those whose lives have gone astray?

Let Us Prey is a biblical based film in the vein of The Prophecy with hints of Seven and The Seventh Sign. It features a wonderful cast headlined by two actors in McIntosh and Cunningham who are two of the best actors working today - regardless of genre. There is plenty of blood and gore. Even the most demanding fans of the red stuff should be satiated. Let Us Prey currently available to stream on NetFlix. It may also be available in other places, but I'm too lazy to check. You have to do some of the work every once in a while, I can;t spoon feed you everything. But definitely check it out, it's one of the best films of the year and (spoilers) just may show up on the DreadWorld Top 8 films of 2015.

**** and 1/2 stars out of *****

That's it for me. As always: thanks for reading and "enjoy every sandwich."

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