Home Horror Entertainment News [REVIEW] Franck Khalfoun’s ‘Prey’ Attempts to Revitalize Survival Tropes

[REVIEW] Franck Khalfoun’s ‘Prey’ Attempts to Revitalize Survival Tropes

by Waylon Jordan

Prey, a new survival horror film from Franck Khalfoun (Amityville: The Awakening), is set for release in select theaters and on VOD this week.

Produced by Blumhouse and Hyde Park productions, the film centers on Toby (Logan Miller, Escape Room), a young man who’s having a hard time dealing with life after the loss of a loved one. When his mother and counselor decide that he’ll benefit from a survival camp, he finds himself on the opposite side of the world on a deserted island left to fend for himself for three days.

Things take an interesting turn for Toby, however, when he discovers that the island is not quite as uninhabited as he thought. A young woman named Madeleine (Kristine Froseth) is also there with her mother (Jolene Anderson). In fact, they’ve been there for a very long time.

Unfortunately, Toby will soon find out why they’re on this island, and more importantly, why they’ve never left.

There’s a lot to enjoy about Prey, not the least of which is Miller’s performance. The actor has made a name for himself across genre lines in films like Love, Simon and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, and he gives one hundred percent to his portrayal of Toby as he goes from emotionally to physically lost in the telling of the story.

Likewise, Froseth is a wonder to watch as Madeleine. The actress has a real knack for conveying a wide-eyed, childlike innocence even while confronting the dangers of an island that has been the only home she’s ever known. Her performance is secretive and controlled, adding mystery and depth to what could easily have been a caricature.

The two stars have an easy chemistry between them that helps sell the film as a whole.

And then there’s the island itself. Lush green forests filled with tropical wildlife give way to sandy beaches and rocky coastlines for a gorgeous setting which Khalfoun and his crew perfectly manipulate, coating them with a layer of dread and shadow that looms over Toby at every turn.

Khalfoun co-wrote the script for Prey with David Coggeshall (A Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia), and they seemed to really want to do something new and exciting with the survival horror tropes. Unfortunately, despite a rather interesting twist toward the end, the film follows the standard formula almost to the letter.

Does that make this a bad film? Nope, not at all.

In fact, those tropes ultimately work in Khalfoun’s favor, lulling the audience into a false sense of security while setting up the aforementioned twist. He doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but he certainly does his best to roll it down a different hill than we’re expecting.

Prey hits select theaters and video on demand on September 27, 2019. Check out the trailer below!