Prey Antoine Blossier

Prey Antoine Blossier
Not the most sparingly used title for low-budget woodland horror flicks, this Prey is ecological horror thinly disguised as a creature feature. Utilizing a classic horror environment ― a cornfield ― the film opens with an unseen attack on an old man. His eldest son comes to his aid and they discover the assailant was a wounded deer so terrified that it, and its antlered brethren, ran through an electric fence. Upon investigation, they find an oversized boar tooth in one of the carcasses. This puts a little hitch into a family reunion that already promised to be a rocky affair. Nathan (Gregoire Colin) treats his grandfather-in-law's minor wounds and some strange burns acquired by his brother-in-law David during the dead deer examination. Much bravado is bandied about between David, his father and younger brother, Nicolas, who is the father of Nathan's wife, Claire, as the family of proud hunters decide to take down the surely record-breaking boar of doom. An aside between Claire and her father not so subtly hints that the real danger stems from alterations made in secret to the family's fertilizer formula to make it more competitive on the market. Thus, though an oversized and deranged, but not mutant, boar is what the filmmakers use to make the audience flinch, it's the human element of callous ambition and familial infighting that is Prey's true horror. Forced to bear arms for the first time, Nathan, a doctor, feels he has to prove himself to these men in order to feel worthy of taking his pregnant wife away from this life. Nicolas labels Nathan a "lightweight" compared to the rest of them, so you just know who's going to end up being the day-saving badass. With a skittery, menacing score not cribbed, but obviously inspired by Alan Silvestri's Predator work, Prey does a number of things well with its limited budget. Less is definitely more when it comes to visualizing a sinister threat, and the director relies on rustling grass and harrowing squeals instead of an abundance of toothy snouts and charging bulk. Questionable motivations and broadly sketched personalities aside, Prey is a reasonably effective excursion unafraid to go extra dark ― it is a French horror film, after all ― and doesn't overstay its welcome at a taut 76, special feature-free minutes. (eOne)