Prowl (2010) movie review

Director: Patrik Syversen

Writer: Tim Tori

Stars: Courtney Hope, Ruta Gedmintas, Joshua Bowman, Perdita Weeks, Jamie Blackley

Runtime: 81m

Watch the trailer for Prowl and imagine this…one of my absolute favorite horror movies of all time is The Descent, and even though it’s not in my top ten I do enjoy the original 30 Days of Night enough to happily repeat view at any given time. OK, back to the Prowl trailer…doesn’t it look like it could have drawn from the best of those movies to maybe create something of its own? I must admit, especially being such a fan of The Descent, I was quite excited hitting the play button. Knowing full well while it may not be as good, I just hoped it would be half as good as either of the two previously mentioned movies. It wasn’t.

As soon as they cross the city limits their vehicle breaks down. A trucker stops to help them and they manage to convince him to give them a ride in his trailer. Everything is going good as they party in the back of the truck until it seems the driver loses control for a minute and when they try to call their ‘insurance,’ the friend who sat up front in the cab, the driver answers the phone and will not put their friend on. Now suspicious of the cargo they are sharing space with, they cut open a box to find it is filled with blood. 

When the truck stops and the trailer doors open the friends find themselves in an abandoned slaughterhouse. They are not alone though as the delivery was for a small tribe of vampires that reside there and now Amber and her friends are being hunted or as far as Amber is concerned, maybe not.

The premise was OK…the first part seemed like a good enough idea to get the friends into the truck and eventually to the building, but it’s right there where everything should pick up that the movie fell apart. Apart from a few lines thrown in to set up the ‘twist’ at the end, the writing just stopped dead as the bodies, well, not piled up, more were snatched away. It seemed to me that nobody really seemed that interested in trying to escape and the vampires…well they seemed to scare the cameraman if nobody else as whenever they were on screen the camera was shaking WAY too much (I’m actually a fan of shaky-cam…this movie taught me that in other ‘good’ movies there seems to be a skill in controlling it.)

Sadly, the camera tricks here seemed to be an attempt to replace the lack of writing rather than emphasize the tension that should have been present in the second half. It just felt empty. There was no sense of ‘the chase.’ The kills were missed if you blinked at the wrong moment, and as I previously mentioned the characters, like the movie itself, didn’t seem to be making any kind of real effort to go anywhere. All told, with the way-too-fast editing, the rushed story telling where there was barely a plot and the inability to properly see the action, Prowl ended up seeming like an 80 minute trailer for a longer, far better movie.

Prowl does fit nicely into the After Dark collection of what is mainly mediocre horror movies. Cutting edge it is not, but then neither is the collection. There are a few of them out there that rise above being average, but sadly this one didn’t. Maybe it was partly due to my expectations of the influences that seemed to be what the filmmakers were drawing from, but even knowing this wouldn’t come close to touching those I was still disappointed.I really hate giving bad reviews and can usually find some kind of redeeming quality in most movies however badly written, cheaply made or poorly acted they are. Prowl forces me to say that there weren’t really any here.

Fingers crossed for the probable sequel.

Review posted by Tony (Dusk2Dawn4)

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