If you like excessive shots of wildlife and being bored out of your mind, then The Prey is the perfect film for you. A 1983 slasher directed by Edwin Brown, and starring Debbie Thureson, Steve Bond, Lori Lethin, and Jackie Coogan.
Opening with a devastating wildfire that spreads through a forest in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. A community of gypsies who were living in a cave are devastated by the flames. The movie then jumps to 32 years later where an elderly couple camping in the same forest is murdered by an unseen axe-wielding maniac.
This slasher movie is off and rolling.
Weeks later, a group of young adults are trekking through the forest as part of a hiking trip. They’re having a mostly good time, at least until the bodies begin to pile up. The killer is targeting the group and will stop at nothing until they’re all dead. Just who is this person and what is the connection to the gypsies and fire we saw at the beginning?
Unsurprisingly, the story is lacking. Not that it is particularly bad, after all it is a tried and tested formula, but because it doesn’t put any extra effort in. If you’ve seen any ‘kids go into the woods and die’ horrors before, you’ll have the feeling of deja-vu all over again here.
The hope that there might at least be characters you can care about, or root for, is quickly dashed. Again, we’ve seen much worse delivered by poor actors and in The Prey’s regard, it is all pretty serviceable.
It just doesn’t do enough to get you invested in their plight. The same goes for a hidden killer that many will be able to identify easily enough. When they are revealed, it elects little more than half hearted shrugs. Partially because the make-up effects are bad but mostly because it doesn’t have the impact the movie thinks it will have.
That’s not the worst of it though. No, what makes The Prey such a chore is its pacing and constant and lengthy shots of nature. It’s like they want you to come visit, just ignore the killer stalking the woods. Those hoping for some excessive kills and lashings of gore will be disappointed. There is some imagination here but again, nothing to get excited about.
Which sums up The Prey overall. We’ve seen it all before, done better.
The Final Score - 5/10