Richard reviews Prey Alone

PreyAlone.jpgI just caught a short movie over at Dark Matters, a site from a guy who’s not unlike me in his likes and dislikes, and has a very cool site (unfortunately with no RSS Feed). I try to stop in and read Matt as much as I can, but reading over 120 sites multiple times a day by RSS Feed means it’s difficult.

Anyway, I popped over today and came across a link to a short film called Prey Alone. I tried not to read his review too much as his star rating was high and he said he totally loved it. That meant I had to see it. What’s more it’s downloadable on that new-fangled InterWeb thing. So I did just that.

Prey Alone is a fifteen minute movie from Ireland, filled with great ideas, effects, tension and action galore. Here’s the blurb from the makers at Jonny3D

Prey Alone – not regarded as your typical Irish short film! In fact it doesn’t even have a priest as one of the main or supporting characters. No panoramic vistas, no poverty, misery or guilt and it’s not even set in the 1950’s. Prey Alone is a high octane, ball busting, roaring screaming chase movie set somewhere in the near future in a generic city in the USA.

It uses the latest up to date digital film techniques but didn’t cost a fortune to make. It’ is in fact the first digital home movie. None of the backgrounds even exist – they were all created in computers. 9 home computers that the directors hooked up together and arranged to operate like a high end digital TV post production system. It’s a home movie!…

…the only elements of live action in the movie are the actors and some hand props…

… it’s not just an example of imaginative cinematic techniques, it has a powerful narrative with a thoroughly satisfying & clever twist in the tale that ties up all the loose ends and wraps up the experience with a big bow.

Well. There you go. There’s not much else to say really!

The short is tight, dark and tense, giving a great feeling of paranoia and a bit of confusion from the beginning, and before long it’s kicking into high gear to to reach a superbly satisfying and totally unexpected finale. The story is clever, and well woven in throughout the piece with clues and references throughout.

These guys really know where to place a camera and how to pull the audience along with them and into the action. Speaking of which there are some really cool moments that look superb onscreen, and the effects that make up a huge part of this movie are complimentary and not overpowering. There’s no Bullet-Time type effect that takes you out of the movie and you stare in awe at the effect itself, no all of this fits in and although there are scenes you’re aware you’re looking at an effect, it’s not a movie drop out moment.

The acting is good as well, as this is often where shorts and movies alike with limited budgets can fall over. Not here though, not at all. The actors are strong, restrained and in particular Ger Carey who does a great job giving more with his facial expressions than with words.

There are a couple of “no way” moments, but then the action is moving fast enough for you to get by them, and it’s big toy action so you can’t help but grin.

If only some of the big Hollywood movies had this much good quality in them, most probably wouldn’t break the ten minute mark.

You have to see this short, and it’s easy to get hold of too, just check it out from the site itself. Get to it through the Mpeg section to download the 15 minute movie. Or check out the official site for more information, screenshots and trailer.

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