Halloween is almost the perfect time to set a horror film. It’s making something original and striking that’s usually the problem. Writer/director Webber has no such problem in this short-and-nasty little shocker.
On the way home from a party, Ethan (Alexandrou) and his girlfriend Mel (Van Cleave) are having a few heated words. He thinks she’s been in a mood all night, and after a flippant remark about her costume, she insists on getting out of the car and walking.
Everyone knows those areas of a town where it’s not altogether safe for anyone to walk alone, never mind a woman. Well, this appears to be one, as it’s not long before she’s finds herself being followed. The pursuer pulls out a knife as she turns a corner to a secluded spot. It’s not going to end well, is it?
The thing with watching (and certainly reviewing) short films is that more often than not, there’s a punch line, or some kind of twist that revealing too much of the plot will instantly give away. That’s very much the case here, although anyone with knowledge of the genre will have some sort of idea as to what’s going to play out.
What the short does have is wonderful pacing (yes, it’s only eight minutes, but not one second is wasted or out of place), strong acting and some impressive, nasty, effects. To top all that off, there’s a payoff that is just perfect.
If watching Mel walk the dark streets in her striking red dress jogs a few memories, it’s completely understandable as Rebecca Van Cleave was famously the body double for Lena Headey in Game of Thrones, when Cersei had to do the walk of shame. Watching this, she won’t be just doubling for long, as she certainly has a promising future.
If you get the chance to see The Prey on a festival screening, do yourself a favour and don’t miss it. It ticks all the right boxes for a short, and is totally entertaining.
THE PREY / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: JAMES WEBBER / STARRING: REBECCA VAN CLEAVE, SAM GITTINS, JAMES ALEXANDROU