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4) PREY (aka Proie)
Country: France

Witnessing the opening shot of director Antoine Blossier’s French creature feature, I knew I was in for a treat: a tableau vivant of fried deer as though filmed by Peter Greenaway.  And I wasn’t wrong.

At the countryside retreat of a wealthy family who run a pesticide business, Nathan (Grégoire Colin) and his wife Claire plan to announce Claire’s pregnancy. But when a terrorized deer attacks Claire’s father, everything is put on hold so that the men folk can track down the animal responsible. But as the sun goes down and the men venture into the forest, the hunters soon become prey by unseen creatures.

If Razorback first springs to mind, then you’re on the right track as the rampaging creatures are indeed killer boars. But this eco-horror isn’t as daft as Russell Mulcahy’s 1984 dud, thanks to a well-balanced script, solid story (about family pressures and being the outsider) and commanding performances (especially Colin, who reminded me of Adrien Brody in Predators mode). It’s also got a cool score.

If you want intelligent horror with a few shades of Lars Von Trier-inspired angst thrown in, then Prey is just the ticket. The ending is also very fitting…

In French, with English subtitles.

Out now on DVD, released through Entertainment One

Check back tomorrow for Number 3 in Pete’s Euro Horror countdown.