Brian O’Malley / UK/Ireland / 2014 / 88 mins
It’s fitting that Brian O’Malley’s debut feature is a dismembering Giallo-inspired horror, as Let Us Prey is itself made up by a mixture of body parts. Creative Scotland have a hand in this new production with the Irish Film Board, including some well-known Scottish faces and a lead performance by Game of Thrones’ Liam Cunningham. He plays a silent stranger who wanders into the small town of Inveree, full of sins and sinners, and winds up in a prison cell for vagrancy. But the local police and inmates quickly realise he’s there for a reason.
O’Malley’s wickedly comic (and at times plain silly) film descends into blood-splattering chaos, as Cunningham – referred to as ‘Six’ – shows the characters their previous evil acts and turns them on each other. Will they pay for their devilish deeds with their lives, or repent and save their souls?
Led by a ludicrously frenzied performance by Douglas Russell as the police sergeant, this daft Christian parable often comes across as Rambo-esque: guns, girls and gore throughout. If you’re a fan of the genre, it’s a welcome first attempt by O’Malley, but rough around the edges and in need of endless script development. Still, it can be hilarious, horrific and hammy all at once – and maybe, in time, O’Malley can catch up to the likes of Dario Argento.