The Prey (1983)

the prey poster 1983 movie
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 2/10
Visuals: 4/10

Ok creature, 80s throwback

Generic horror

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Prey

Studio:  Essex Production (III)

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  November 4, 1983

MPAA Rating:  R

the prey bobbie killed lori lethin

Watch out for that tree! A classic George of the Jungle kill

A couples group go to the mountains for a camping trip.  Unfortunately, the North Point and Suicide Peak has been a place of mystery.  Years before a fire ripped through the area and a group of gypsies camping at the site were caught up in the darkness…but something survived.  Now, Nancy (Debbie Thureson), Joel (Steve Bond), Bobbie (Lori Lethin), Skip (Robert Wald), Greg (Philip Wenckus), and Gail (Gayle Gannes) are the prey, and the evil is unstoppable.

Written and directed by Edwin Brown (which addition writing by Summer Brown), The Prey is a horror slasher movie.  The film received a limited theater release and poor reviews.

The Prey is one of those generic 1980s horror movies that almost feels more like a drugstore novel than an actual motion picture.  With a generic concept, generic cast, and generic look…shockingly, The Prey is rather generic.

the prey ending mark killed monster jackson bostwick

I told you it was lower for the Heimlich Maneuver!

The story is a “don’t go in the woods story”.  The characters go in the wood, have sex, and they die.  There is the rangers try to go into rescue mode, but the danger is too great.  Despite having multiple disappearances from the area, it is all seen as very “oh, another person disappeared”.  The ending of the movie is a bit darker than you’d expect, and I do admire movies that don’t go for the happy ending.

The cast is young and rather inexperienced.  The script doesn’t help them become better actors and it feels like the movie needs more direction in general.  Carel Struycken plays the monster hunting the campers and Shazam! alum Jackson Bostwick plays the hero ranger.  The film features the last role of former child star (and Uncle Fester) Jackie Coogan.

the prey monster ending

A little skin cream will fix that face right up

The Prey has the typical slasher deaths, but they aren’t as creative as they could be especially since the killer is a monster.  Instead, the movie pads its time with lots of stock footage nature shots which become laughable.  The monster of course isn’t really revealed to the end, but it is the type of movie I feel could have benefitted from seeing the monster earlier.  While it is based on the popularity of Halloween and Friday the 13th, the creature feels a bit more like Hatchet (which is a parody-homage of movies like The Prey).

The Prey isn’t very good, but if you are looking for horror that you might not have seen, The Prey could fit the bill.  It is 1980s classic slasher fun, and even if it isn’t very good, it has a feel to it that modern slashers can’t seem to capture.  The Prey has a kind of vague ending and it could be rehashed into something new…if Hollywood continues its rather bankrupt trend of rehashing old stuff.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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