Prey is an independent French film which boasts an intriguing effort at realism, though it rapidly succumbs to the tedious horror clichés. Unmemorable dialogue and awfully ham (no pun intended) acting is so rife throughout that the audience is at risk of becoming completely disengaged with the film. You end up not really caring whether the two-dimensional characters live, die, or get stabbed repeatedly in the thigh with a boar’s tusk. Awash with lazy editing which creates an abysmal display of narrative shortcuts, Prey is little but a repetitive and predictable chain of events.
After an established farming business produces a line of toxic fertiliser, the wild boars that roam the forest become infected by drinking the woodland water. When the men venture out on their hunt, they discover that something evil is squealing in the bushes. The idea that an apparently intelligent group of men with shotguns could be so powerless against a pack of wild hogs is lame, not to mention implausible. If this film were a dark comedy it might have worked, but the fact that it takes itself so seriously is laughable in itself.
Prey distinctly lacks any element of shock and suspense. Not only this, but the poorly written script fails to respectably contextualise any of the characters’ action. Clocking in at just 77 minutes the film’s production feels rushed, yet simultaneously the viewing experience drags on forever. Lovers of violence may also be disappointed; by comparison to other films of its kind, it seems misleading and unnecessary to certify Prey as an 18.
The most contrived plot point involves an irritating and embarrassingly retro ringtone. If it weren’t for one character’s mobile phone ringing all the time, then the boars would not have heard, found, and thus attacked the men. Despite the men realising this fact, they seem to forget to switch the phone off. The whole concept is shamefully unoriginal and happens too often for it to convince the viewer.
Prey tries very hard to tick all the boxes within the genre, and in doing so fails to make an impact. An interesting concept within the film that might have saved it from its appalling narrative idea involves themes of betrayal and deceit in the family – unfortunately, this goes overlooked. Rounded off with some cheesy dramatic music, Prey is totally uninspired and a bit of a boar… ha.