Note: A few minutes after this post went up, I recieved a Tweet from the film’s director that gave a bit more insight into one of my criticisms of the movie :
@thebarleyguy everyone in the town is evil not by coincidence, but because the film takes place in purgatory. Hence an empty village etc
— Brian O’Malley (@TheBrianOMalley) June 10, 2015
This does clear up a couple of things for me about the movie, that said there is still a recurring trope I’ve noticed in movies similar to this one. So, I have left that point in the review.
Life and work and things besides this have kept me a bit on the inactive side lately, and for that I’m sorry. That being said, I’m sure many of you are pretty indifferent to that, so we can really just pick up where we left off. Lets talk about the 2014 Irish flick Let Us Prey.
Held in a remote police station, a mysterious stranger takes over the minds and souls of everyone inside.
This one is kind of a by-the-numbers morality play, the stranger comes to town to confront everyone with their sins and these sins are brought to light one at a time. The one issue I had with the story is that somehow the protagonist found herself working in a town where everyone is evil except her. It’s something that happens a lot in movies like this, and while I understand the point that they are trying to make (being that EVERYONE has done something sinful or whatever), but it becomes a bit hard to take when each and every newcharacter is a murderous, child abusing, monster.
That said, if you can put that aside, and move forward with the movie, it’s a pretty well shot and effectively engaging movie, with some great effects, and a really slick visual style. Plus, I really do enjoy movies that all take place in a pretty small location (movies like Exam or Cube for example), and this might not be the BEST example of this but it is, at the very least, a pretty fun watch.
I mentioned Exam, which is serendipitous because a quick look at Polyanna McIntosh’s IMDB profile tells me that she was also in the movie Exam. She does a pretty solid job in this one, but it does seem like a lot of the pain and intensity of her performance relies on flashbacks to her traumatic past. Either way, she does a serviceable job throughout.
As with most morality tales, the story does feel a little bit heavy handed at times. Liam Cunningham as “Six” does a pretty good job, but at times is so deadly serious that it borders on being funny. Funny or not, he does turn in one of the most watchable performances in the movie. The rest of the actors turn in pretty all-over-the-place performances, and have these really sudden changes in character from unlikable to cartoonishly evil, so that does take you out of it a little bit.
I really don’t have a lot to say about this one, it’s a short movie with so-so performances and the story is fine. It doesn’t jump out as a masterpiece or anything, but there are far worse ones out that you could check out. The visuals in the movie are great and it does have some pretty unsettling moments.
If that sounds like what you’re after, then give it a watch.