One of the great plot devices of horror movies has always been the manifestation of pure evil and how we as mere mortals deal with its existence. The devil himself is often in attendance in the form of another human being or often there is someone else present as his representative. John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness has always been one of my all-time favorite movies about dealing with evil, the atmosphere in that film is heavy and oppressive. Not many films can claim to portray the presence of evil in such a tangible way but a new low budget movie out this week comes pretty close.
Pollyanna McIntosh is PC Rachel Heggie, a rookie cop about to begin her first night shift in an isolated and neglected police station in a quiet Scottish town. But when a mysterious stranger known only as 6 (Liam Cunningham) is brought in, his mere presence starts affecting the officers and prisoners alike causing each of them to face their violent inner demons and pay the price for their past transgressions.
Let Us Prey is mainly a one location film giving it a very stage play like feel and also lending a claustrophobic uneasiness to the story. Although the story is not entirely original it is very well thought out and compelling to watch. Liam Cunningham is excellent as the mysterious 6. Cunningham has such an easy charisma and screen presence but can also convey great malice with a since glance and is a perfect choice for this role. Pollyanna McIntosh, who is quite popular in the genre now after breakout performances in films like Lucky McKee’s The Woman, Offspring and Burke and Hare, is also very good as the newbie cop who is not exactly accepted by the other officers. But as is usual with McIntosh’s performances, Rachel is a strong character that has to handle things herself and does so with conviction. I would really like to see more of McIntosh in mainstream films, she is very good and deserves more exposure. Let Us Prey is a great example of a character driven morality play horror film with great atmosphere, great performances and an excellent story arc that keeps you interested throughout the running time. A nice little hidden gem among the recent early summer releases. Recommended.