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THE PREY: LEGEND OF KARNOCTUS (2022)
Directed by Cire Hensman, Matthew Hensman.
Written by Matthew Hensman, Gustavo Sainz de la Peña.
Starring Nick Chinlund, Kevin Grevioux, Danny Trejo, Adrian Paul, Fahim Fazli, Reka Rene, Cleveland Berto, Masika Kalysha, Essam Ferris, Justin Arnold, John David Gregory, Cleo Anthony, Ryan McIntyre, Aria London, Juan Feldman, Benny Mora, Anoop Simon, Robert Tarpinian, Pat Jankiewicz, Nicolas Charles, Matt Musgrove, Mingyu Chu, Ny’acies Divine, Fito De la Parra, Jacob Charlot, John Vargas, Linda Jossana, Miles Cooper, Linda Jossana, John McFarland, Derrick Hensman
Find out more about this film here!
A group of mercenaries lead by CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK’s Nick Chinlund, UNDERWORLD’s Kevin Grievioux, and Danny Trejo (every other movie you’ve seen) steal a cache of gold in Afghanistan and hide it in a desert cave in order to come back and pick it up with a helicopter later. At the same time, an army unit find themselves taking shelter in the same cave from enemy fire. Also in this cave is a man-eating monster of legend called the Karnoctus. When all three parties meet, bullets, knives, teeth, claws, and fur begin to fly.
THE PREY: LEGEND OF KARNOCTUS would be a perfect Saturday afternoon timewaster. It’s got lots of flashy action, a tough guy cast, macho dialog, a big monster, and a location that is claustrophobic and atmospheric. At its best, it’s a low rent PREDATOR meets THE EXPENDABLES, with less grit and star power, but a lot of the same story beats. This isn’t a rip on the film. It’s a tried-and-true concept and filmmakers Cire and Matthew Hensman do a decent job of aping it. I was never bored with THE PREY. I think I might have rolled my eyes at some of the over-the-top macho dialog, but still, it does the job of being a non-stop thrill fest with a big enough cast to highlight a gnarly death at the hands of the monster every few minutes or so.
THE PREY also does a good job of filling in blanks that are obviously above the film’s paygrade. Incorporating comic book panels, the Hensman’s whittle together a fun origin and backstory during the credits sequence, so the viewer is tossed right into the middle of the action from minute one. It would have been interesting to see how far the filmmakers could have pushed the concept, but what shows up is a fun and clever way to cut corners budget-wise. This one even offers up cool behind the scenes sketches, creature designs, and storyboards playing during the credits.
The monster is obviously a man in a suit. It is sort of like a Bigfoot, but it appears to have multiple eyes and a long tail, so it’s not your standard Sasquatchonian. It seems there has been a lot of work in the design of the beast. And the end result is impressive and the Hensmans seem to have fun with having it leap out of the darkness and kills folks.
There’s a very comic booky concept of a nerve gas which makes anyone who breathes it in see visions of their heart’s desire. Sure this is oddball, but somehow it fits and makes for yet another challenge for these soldiers and mercenaries to tackle. It also provides some nice moments that distinguish the character of one soldier to the next.
So if you’re looking for some macho overload, man on monster, military action, THE PREY: LEGEND OF KARNOCTUS delivers capably. Even though he’s featured prominently on the poster, there isn’t enough Danny Trejo in this one, but he may be around if a sequel is ever made. Kevin Grevioux is always good and needs to be in more horror movies. Everything from his voice to his presence is monstrous. The rest of the cast is decent and I really like Nick Chinlund who plays this role kind of like Karl Urban does with Butcher in THE BOYS. This is a rowdy creature feature that will feel refreshing for those who miss that kind of old school fun.