Today I watched “Let Us Prey”, a 2014 Irish horror film, directed by Brian O’Malley, set in a small town in Scotland.
The film opens with some wonderful cinematography of a roaring sea buffeting rocks on the shoreline. A mysterious lone figure, later dubbed Six (Liam Cunningham – “Game Of Thrones, “Dog Soldiers”) appears from amongst the waves and makes his way steadily to the backwater town, accompanied by numerous black crows.
In that town it’s the first night on the job for new police officer Rachel Heggie (Pollyanna McIntosh – “Filth”, “The Woman”). On her way to the station to meet her new colleagues she witnesses a teenager, Caesar Sargison (Brian Vernel – “Offender”) driving his car straight into the mysterious Six, who is standing in the street. Although Six vanishes from the scene, leaving Caesar to protest his innocence, the presence of blood on his car’s headlights is enough for Heggie to arrest him and take him with her to the station.
Having arrived and reported to scripture-quoting Sergeant MacReady (Douglas Russell – “A Lonely Place To Die”) – the only other officer in the somewhat rundown building – Caesar is put into the cells, where a teacher from his old school, Ralph Beswick (Jonathan Watson – “Filth”) is already being held for beating his wife.
Heggie radios her new colleagues, PCs Warnock (Bryan Larkin – “Running In Traffic”) and Mundie (Hanna Stanbridge – “Outcast”), who have been getting very friendly in their patrol car, and asks them to look out for the missing crash victim.
When the PCs arrive, having found Six and brought him in, he is uncommunicative, refusing to identify himself and is put into to cell number 6, hence his moniker. When a doctor, Dr. Hume (Niall Greig Fulton – “Cloud Atlas”), examines him, the doctor reacts badly – leading him to end up the cells too.
It soon becomes clear that Six is somehow able to see into the souls of everyone, and each person in the station has some secret that they’d rather keep to themselves, which we are given glimpses of through the brief flashbacks that they have when they are in contact with Six.
Set primarily within the police station, this is a film that deals with themes of faith as well as judgement and retribution. Steadily building up the tension, with a sense of almost real time, events are leading us up to midnight and the climax that, whilst feeling apocalyptic, leaves the door open for the possibility that it is only the start…
A nice little ensemble piece – there are only eight characters – this is an effective horror film, and definitely worth viewing.