Film Review: ‘The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus’ (2022)

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Stars: Danny Trejo, Adrian Paul, Nick Chinlund
Directors: Cire Hensman, Matthew Hensman
Producer/Distributor: Lennexe Films

“Something is there, I’m telling you.”

Opening within what seemingly appears to be a Middle Eastern meth lab, and fully equipped with the greatest animated intro you will ever see, The Prey is seemingly a wild ride from the get go. But just how wild does it get? From the Hensman brothers, Cire and Matthew, is The Prey just your average Predator rip-off (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), or is it something else entirely?

Worlds collide, essentially, when a small team of mercenaries – lead by Nick Chinlund (Billy Bedlam from Con Air!) – clash with a US platoon…in a cave. The mercs have a place to hide their stolen cargo, whilst the platoon find themselves in retreat of whom they believe to be the Taliban. Whilst they initially see themselves as enemies, they are quick to realise that they are amidst an even bigger and more dangerous enemy: Karnoctus.

For an action film, The Prey is quite dialogue-heavy. The unconventional “group banter” amongst the platoon soldiers establishes a somewhat postmodern feel to the film. Importantly, the best dialogue, and most engaging, comes from the mouth of The Prey‘s toughest badass: Tagger (Chinlund). Though, with the generic 90-something-minute runtime too, there is a slightly unwanted feeling that much of this film is dialogue over action. In reality, it can be argued that a creature-feature of this sort, isn’t viewed for endless dialogue, but instead, viewed for its presentation of either a shoddy CGI monster or slightly dated practical effects. But the action, when present, is good. Especially for its budget. Some of the most fantastical elements of this film come in the form of action sequences taken from the viewpoint of the creature itself. 

The monster itself, Karnoctus, is of a practical nature. Hidden deep within the shadows of the cave, the monster resides within the darkness not only to mask production value, but to add a creepily vicious atmosphere. With these creature features, one-by-one death, slasher-esque films, the expectancy is usually the same: how will the victims be killed? In The Prey, the deaths vary from gruesome to cheesily hilarious, though there are instances of trying to remember who’s been killed. 

Ultimately, The Prey is an acceptably fun action-horror mix-up, but it’s truly intended for a specific audience. This one really is for fans of the original Predator movie, though great action sequences and hilarious dialogue combined make for an entertaining 90 minutes that should reach beyond the worshippers of the 1987 classic.

The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus is currently available on digital platforms. Many thanks to both Justin Cook Public Relations and Lennexe Films for the pleasure of this film.

3 Stars


For John.

This article’s featured image: By Source, Justin Cook Public Relations, Fair Use 

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