It’s been a long time since I’ve watched something disgustingly disturbing. In my movie viewing recollection, there’s been only one other movie that compares to Let Us Prey.
Let Us Prey is set in a backcountry Scottish town, where Rachel Heggie (Pollyanna McIntosh) is a local constable wet behind the ears, who soon finds her first day on the job more than she bargained for. The plot unfolds over one long night when four apparent strangers in one way or another find their way to the remote police station where they are locked up for this crime and that.
However, an ominous stranger who also finds himself behind bars goes by the name Six and is played superbly by Liam Cunningham (who you might recognize as Davos Seaworth on Game of Thrones). Six is stoic and dangerously ambiguous. And, we soon discover, Six wants to be in jail to do a dark dance with the others. They are all there for one reason, to atone for their sinful pasts.
Through jump cuts and flashbacks, we are able the peer into disturbing, gory acts of violence, including those of the police officers on duty and who are also more malicious than anyone could expect. Like in Saw, all the characters are brought together because they have something wickedly in common: Bloodlust.
Let Us Prey sets up the plot in the same way. We find everyone involved from the corrupt cops to the prisoners are all vile sinners. However, what quickly becomes even more obvious is that this Six character is the most sinister yet also the all-knowing. Six is perhaps the Grim Reaper or Lucifer in the flesh, as he shows off supernatural powers and an ability to take life without ever having to leave his cell.
We quickly understand that this is no ordinary prison, but some sort of purgatory or the last stop before hell. The imprisoned are meant to face what they have done, be judged for their transgressions and gruesomely pay for their wrongdoings with their lives.
All but rookie police officer Rachel, that is, who has a troubled past as the survivor of child abuse. She especially has vengeance on her mind, and she is the only one not on Six’s kill list. It seems Six has a soft place in his black heart for Rachel, who we later find out he’s known since she was a child.
But Six is more than the heartless, evil Satan with horns and a pitch fork, though he does hold a familiar affinity for fire. No, Six is more like Dexter, the type of killer who only spills the blood of those who deserve it, or they have so far gotten away with their crimes. Call Six the karma killer with an odd understanding of fairness and of judgment, but he definitely knows there’s a balance between a universal law of right and wrong.
Ultimately that is what this film comes down to, that and some killer gore. If you play, you must pay and whatever seeds you sow in this lifetime you’ll ultimately reap the justice you deserve.
My Redbox Vote: Definitely worth $1.50 for those horror genre junkies.