Jamison M. LoCascio, Adam Ambrosio (segment Encounter Nightly)
Jamison M. LoCascio, Adam Ambrosio, Anthony LoCascio (segment Nelly)
When Ruth sent me a list of screeners to choose from, How Dark They Prey immediately jumped out at me. I love a good anthology-style horror movie; it’s a great way of fitting a lot of variety into a standard 90-minute film while finding a creative way to connect all of the individual pieces.
In How Dark They Prey, four segments are featured: a UFO-hunting TV show host and his cameraman follow a potential story; two American soldiers and one German hunker down in the woods to avoid seemingly endless gunfire in WWII; a young man meets a strange old fisherman at the edge of the lake where his father died, and a routine traffic stop leads to a young mother and police officer fighting for their lives after being kidnapped by chainsaw-wielding maniacs.
Overall, this film was kind of disappointing. All of the segments have a good eerie tone, but most have interesting premises but unimpressive payoffs; the endings are either too abrupt or too disconnected from the rest of the segment. There also seemed to be some sound issues, specifically in the third segment set in WWII; I’m not sure if it was a recording/sound mixing issue or if the actors just weren’t speaking loudly or clearly enough, but a lot of the dialogue was hard to make out.
All that said, I will say the final segment was mostly enjoyable; it had a good blend of horror and comedy, and I appreciated the unique take on the “maniac with a chainsaw” trope. They also seemed to try and tie all of the stories together by showing a brief shot of items from each segment on a table at the very end, but it felt tacked on.
Despite my gripes with the writing, I do have to praise the acting overall. Each segment featured consistently excellent actors, but the highlights were Kelsey Nichole Black as Martha in the first segment, Samuel James Pygatt as Private Davis in the second segment, Marc Lubbers as Leon in the third segment, and David Johnson as Officer Doles and Alisha Spielmann as Janet in the fourth segment.
While I was mostly unimpressed with the writing, How Dark They Prey is a short watch and worth checking out for some genuinely good performances.
How Dark They Prey premieres on Prime Video on Friday, September 15th.
Have you seen HOW DARK THEY PREY? Well, what did you think?