There is nothing wrong with nature in any way, shape or form. The best thing about this planet, the one everyone lives upon, is nature. In all of its myriad forms, it continues to fascinate, to enchant and enhance humanity despite the way it is treated in return and one cannot help but love it. The Prey is a movie that falls into the slasher genre, filmed in 1980 and released a few years later, packed with more nature than it is with killing and if in the mood for some good scenes featuring all the critters of the forest, this is a movie that will satisfy. That being said, there is a bit of horror and death present, but not as much as there should be given what this film was marketed as.
The entire affair takes a bunch of campers, a story about a bunch of dead gypsies and a catastrophic fire, a whole lot of outdoors shots and a killer hailing from said group of gypsies and throws it all together into one, overlong horror movie that is short on fright and stretches the patience of the audience. There are moments of interest interspersed throughout, the ending being especially creepy and fantastic, but what this film really needed was a lot of cuts, at least a good half hour’s worth to really make it flow better, not to mention a few more deaths thrown in along the way. Most of the scenes with the gypsies were unneeded, being more filler than anything else and much of the rest of the movie felt that way as well, like it was padded out and it killed any momentum that it might have built from the outset.
It is only during the last act that things manage to pick up when the campers start getting killed off and Ranger Mark begins investigating. Was it worth over an hour of the audience’s time in getting to this point? Probably not, but The Prey was ultimately not all that bad compared to others of its ilk. The acting was decent by all the players involved, though Jackson Bostwick as Mark stood out from the pack. The characters themselves were cut from the slasher handbook and the only ones that anyone could really sympathize with were the gypsies who died quite horribly.
It is easy to see at the end of the day why this film sat on the shelf for a while and why it failed to make a blip when it was finally released. That being said, slasher fanatics will need to see The Prey for a sense of completion despite any of its flaws.
2.5 out of 5