Prey on Netflix, a Drably Efficient German Survival Thriller

Netflix film Prey is a German thriller wherein 5 guys struggle to outlive within the woods whereas an unseen pursuer tries to potshot them with a deer rifle. And that’s about it — it’s a low-budget style thriller with barely a frill or two, so mood your expectations, ye menu-scrollers. However there’s at all times hope {that a} easy premise yields some righteous suspense, or a minimum of is a traditional case of minimal plot, most route.


The Gist: The seashore: A fella and a girl are in love there. Kissing, swimming, strolling arm in arm. Lovely. Good. Now, the woods: 5 guys Deliverance their method upriver in kayaks. It’s Roman’s (David Kross) bachelor-party weekend so he and his brother Albert (Hanno Koffler), and associates Vincent (Yung Ngo), Peter (Robert Finster) and Stefan (Klaus Steinbacher) are roughing it for a bit. They horse round like teenage boys and hike as much as a fortress damage to absorb the surroundings. They’re sitting by the fireplace once they hear a gunshot within the distance, however possibly not fairly far sufficient within the distance. In all probability only a hunter. Nothing to fret about. Nothing in any respect… nothing in any respect… nothing in any respect?

There’s some speak among the many guys about work this and a job that, ripping the lid off somewhat inter-dude pressure. They arrive throughout somewhat unicorn toy and Albert pockets it as a memento. Nothing vital there, I wager. Nothing in any respect. Albert virtually falls right into a crevasse, they bust one another’s balls, simply one other tenting journey. They hike again to the automobile and there’s one other gunshot, this time, it’s nearer. They give the impression of being round and yell a bit. Should be searching season and should be a hunter and the hunter should’ve missed as a result of the bullet grazed Albert’s arm. Oops?

They wrap Albert’s wound and right here comes one other bullet. It hits the automobile tire. The subsequent few shatter glass. They sprint for canopy within the woods. After all, there’s no cellular phone sign. That’s what you get if you get off the grid and get away from all of it. They argue about what to do and the place the street could be and get their bearings, however Stefan is aware of the woods moderately properly so he leads them that method, the best way that has nothing to do with what facet of a tree mushrooms develop on. Roman flashes again to the seashore, halcyon daze along with his soon-to-be spouse Lisa (Livia Matthes); she will get stung by a jellyfish and he involves the rescue, carrying her out of the water, there goes my hero, watch him as he goes. Again on the run from a loopy gunperson, possibly he’ll be the hero right here too; he’s undoubtedly the closest factor resembling a personality on this film, as a result of the one man is Moist Foot and one other is Tour Information, then there’s Twisted Ankle and Already Injured. We’ll see if anybody dies and in what order, so possibly it’s time to arrange the workplace pool.

Picture: Netflix

What Films Will It Remind You Of?: Deliverance minus the compelled sodomy, crossed with the tamest model of Bachelor Social gathering ever conceived.

Efficiency Price Watching: Like I mentioned, Kross is the one one given greater than a note-and-a-half to play, so hand it to him for holding the film collectively.

Memorable Dialogue: Typical bull roar when guys get collectively:

“Since when are you into girls?”

“Since I met your mother.”

Intercourse and Pores and skin: A PG-13 sequence wherein Roman and Lisa murk lurve.

Our Take: Properly, Prey is a kind of motion pictures the place you’ll wrangle with a traditional ethical conundrum: Do egocentric J-holes need to be murdered for causes unrelated to their J-holeness? There’s not a lot else to consider right here, director Thomas Sieben emphasizing situational screw-tightening suspense, however the battery on his energy screwdriver is weak. Petty squabbling by the principals dilutes the immediacy of the dramatic circumstances, as if some imprecise notion of 1 man serving to one other man get a job could be on the forefront of everybody’s thoughts when a bullet might zing out of the forest at any time and hit one among their important organs.

Possibly we must always give the film the advantage of the doubt. Possibly it needs to point out how excessive circumstances draw out one’s true character — one man is a pleasant man and one is type of a weakling and two others are completely different shades of jerkwad. Drawback is, we want greater than a smidgen of a touch of an inkling of their personalities earlier than they discover themselves in a life-or-death predicament. Third-act developments introduce potential emotional plot elements that by no means take maintain. All these criticisms may not matter if Sieben choreographed set items for max pressure and showcased extra directorial panache, however with Prey, he’s merely content material to get the job executed with drab effectivity.

Our Name: Prey needs to be a concise, keep-it-simple-stupid thriller, nevertheless it’s too skinny to hold a lot dramatic weight. SKIP IT.

John Serba is a contract author and movie critic based mostly in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Learn extra of his work at or comply with him on Twitter: @johnserba.

Stream Prey on Netflix | Stream It or Skip It?


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