Prey for the Beast (2008)
Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring Brett Kelly, Anastasia Kimmett, Amanda Leigh, Jodi Pittman, Ray Besharah, Lisa Aitken, Sonia Myers
Directed by Brett Kelly
When I sat down to watch Prey for the Beast I was very much in the mood for an old fashioned rubber suit monster movie and that's exactly what I got; nothing more, nothing less. Just a microbudget monster movie about a rubber suited creature mauling unsuspecting people who dared to tread into its domain.
CGI is great and all. Computer generated effects are a thing of beauty when done right. But when it comes to monster movies, deep down my heart has and always will belong to the rubber suit. Many monster movie watchers these days may scoff at the archaic concept of a rubber suited monster but let's face the facts: the lower the budget, the less likely it is you're going to have polished computer animation that makes for perfect integration between live actors and the CGI creature, so, really, why not use something that's at least tangible and isn't going to look any less realistic than a cartoony digital doodle? A less-than-believable rubber suited monster will almost always look better than a less-than-believable digital effect simply because the suit is real. Even if it doesn't look 100% realistic, that's okay too because we're talking about a B-monster movie to begin with. Chuckling at the sight of the rubber suited monster is hardly the worst thing in the world since that's part of its charm. Besides, it's tradition.
Director and star Brett Kelly understands this. Prey for the Beast is shot very much in the vein of monster movies from the 1950's/1960's albeit with more of a 1980's slasher mentality. More gory than allegory.
The rubber suited beast stalking these woods in search of prey looks something like a two-legged mutant were-warthog juiced up on steroids and suffering from a nasty case of mange. What exactly it is or where it came from is never explained because nobody actually knows. As one local puts it, "We stay out of its way and it stays out of ours." It then kills the person who said that. Why? Because he didn't stay out of its way.
The plot ... Please. A group of people head into the woods. In horror movies that alone is like playing Russian roulette. And what happens when they get into the woods? A man-eating monster kills the crap out of them. Why? Because that's what man-eating monsters in the woods do to people who trespass against it. Gotta love that wonderful little moment when the beast was shredding a poor sap and began suckling on some bloody intestines the way someone would enjoy a rack of barbecue ribs. You: it's what's for dinner.
Four friends head out into the woods for a weekend of male bonding. Not too much to their characters other than one having some serious issues with women that'll complicate matters later on. They'll meet up with a quartet of comely young females out for their own weekend of woodland frolicking. Amazingly, there will be no nookie between the two sides. That's probably because there's no time for nookie when you're being stalked by the sort of monster that gives Ninja Turtles nightmares. None of their names are important. Their pulses are what's important, namely how long they'll continue to have one. I'd never be able to pick any of these characters out of line-up except to point to who lives and who dies. They are as the title implies - prey for the beast.
The acting is ... Well, let's just say the acting is what it is and move on.
Prey for the Beast clocks in at barely 75-minutes and it probably could have stood to drop another ten or so to tighten things up. When your plot and characters are this thin momentum is key and brevity is best. This is monster moviemaking stripped to its barebones, and though I found some old school pleasure in seeing this beast prey on its victims, I still kind of wished there had been a little more meat on these bones.
2 1/2 out of 5
Discuss Prey for the Beast in the Dread Central forums!