Devil's Prey (2001)
Director: Bradford May
Patrick Bergin/Father Seth
Five “party hungry” teens get kicked out of some backwoods rave and accidentally run over some broad (Elena Lyons) on their drive home. The chick survives, they take her in and the next thing you know, all kinds of “Devil Worshippers” wearing dime store masks are chasing them around with knives. My kind of party?
"Devil’s Prey” starts off with a pretty gnarly set-up. The rave scene is very prominent in today’s youth culture and I’m really surprised that the “horror” genre hasn’t explored it more. Having dabbled in it myself, I know what goes down in that world and I think it’s perfect material for a horror flick. I was pleased that “Devil’s Prey” addressed the phenomenon.
Unfortunately, the set-up is pretty much all that’s good about this fix. What follows is basically a half-baked extended “chase” sequence in the woods that comes with its fair share of plot holes. You know how it goes: the moronic killers can’t find the teens when they’re right in front of them, the teens are betrayed constantly but still wind up trusting people they shouldn’t, or when the killers finally attack, they come in empty handed and throw punches, even though when we saw them stalking earlier...they were holding knives. Pretty obvious stuff.
Character-wise, the flick doesn’t venture any further than the typical “slasher” teen fluff either. We get the whore, the jock, the bad boy, the goodie-goodie, you know the drill. I am happy to say that the token black guy (Nall) isn’t a one-liner spitting “gang banger” (“Blang Blang”) and actually acts like a normal dude who happens to be black. I see that as progress. The character development itself is hilariously bad. There’s a scene in the film where two of the main players start whining and crying about how their dads mistreat them. COME ON! How’s that for a showstopper? I expected Phoebe Cates to pop in at any second to tell us why she hates Christmas.
This turkey also feels the need to slap an unnecessary and groan-inducing moral our way. The Sheriff (Thomerson) eventually takes a big bulk of screen time to comment on the rave scene, the use of drugs and how we should all take responsibility for our actions...bla-bla-bla. Did my mom write this script? If I want to be preached to, I’ll go visit my folks after a night of hard partying. I don’t need it coming from a damn horror film.
On a positive note, the flick does sport some stylish directing, a fast pace, some good-looking females to gawk at, a groovy “killer” mask, one surprising plot twist and one slick explosion. But is seeing Patrick Bergin doing a lame sex scene, listening to “phoney hip” dialogue, sitting through some silly looking costumed Satanists and getting let down by a dumbass twist ending worth all that? I don’t think so. This party is dead ya'll! Let's hit the “Dresden”!
We get lots of red but most of the kills and stabbings happen off screen. We do get a nice burn makeup though.
WARNING: All of the actors have ZERO chemistry between them. Viewer discretion is advised. Ashley Jones (Susan) gives a focused and credible performance. Jennifer Lyons (Samantha) showcases a couple of nice acting moments and is pleasant to the eye. Elena Lyons (Fawn) didn’t work for me during the first half of the film but she grew on me during the second half. Patrick Bergin (Father Seth) is boooooooring! His “mass” incantations made me want to sleep and hurl at the same time. Charlie O’ Connell (David) is so wooden that it becomes humorous. Dude, lighten up! Bryan Kirkwood (Eric) is the better actor here and brings credibility to the role. Tim Thomerson (Sheriff) does what he has to do and then punches out. Rashaan Nall (Joe) gives a sympathetic performance. I dug him.
T & A
Us dudes get a tit shot early on, a couple of rave chicks with fluo painted tits and Jennifer Lyons showing off her stuff in tight clothing. The ladies get Charlie O'Connell’s shirt getting ripped near the end to reveal his chest.
I’ll hand it to Bradford May, he makes this trash look good. He displays nice shots, some slow motion, injects lots of atmosphere into the film and throws in a couple of “Evil Dead 2”-like quick camera movements. Too bad the script blows.
The tacky “techno” song during the rave sequence bored me and the generic score didn’t do much for me either. Forgettable.
“Devil’s Prey” never lives up to its set-up. It quickly degenerates into a predictable, clumsy and idiotic movie. If you want a groovier B-class “devil worshipping” flick, I recommend “Spellbinder” with Kelly Preston. If you want to see chicks high off their booties on ecstasy, just hit your local rave. "Devil’s Prey" is a bad trip.
Charlie O’Connell (David) is the brother of actor Jerry O’Connell ("Scream 2").
Jennifer Lyons (Samantha) was also in "Jack Frost 2" and should really consider calling me. She’s my type.