Prey (2021) Netflix Review

Director: Thomas Sieben

Writer: Thomas Sieben

Stars: David Kross, Hanno Koffler, Maria Ehrich

RATING: 2 Stars

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On his bachelor party weekend, Roman, his brother Albert and their friends go on a hiking trip into the wild. When the group hear gunshots nearby, they attribute them to hunters in the woods. However, they soon find themselves in a desperate bid for survival when they realize that they have fallen prey to a mysterious shooter.—Netflix

This German thriller had a really good premise going for it. I was excited to enter into a tense, suspenseful ride with loads of plot twists and heart pounding action. None of that happened unfortunately, and this film left me feeling a bit flat.

My first problem was that absolutely none of the main characters were at all likeable. They were all either awful people, or just irritating. And it’s hard to empathise, or care that these men are being killed off, if you are glad to see the back of most of them. It’s clear that Albert is meant to be an awful person, there are so many comments and references all the way through that imply he isn’t all he seems, and after the big reveal in the third act which, to be honest is not all that revolutionary, it just confirms what we all ready knew, that Albert is a grade A jackass.

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I did like that I couldn’t figure out who the shooter was right away or what their motives were. I had a theory from the very beginning based on the synopsis and the situation the characters are in, but I was glad to be proven wrong, that would have been the nail in the coffin if the plot had ended up being that predictable. The actual reveal however doesn’t exactly leave the audience satisfied. The background of the shooter comes out of nowhere, we learn literally nothing about her, I don’t think she even speaks. So while ‘mysterious’ is the right term to describe her, it’s not an interesting mystery. We know so little, and there is so little connection between her our main characters, that her motivation is almost immaterial to the plot.

Very little tension or suspense is ever built up. A combination of a slow start, unlikable characters and boring, repetitive, walking scenes mean that you care very little for what is actually going on. You know from the get go who is going to live and who is going to die so really, there is no real build up. Just a slow, patient wait for the inevitably disappointing finale.

I would give this one a miss unless thrillers really are your bread and butter, if they are, ‘Prey’ is streaming now on Netflix.

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