Last summer a film titled The Hunt saw its release delayed due to another all too frequent mass shooting in the United States. As it was a film about rich people paying to hunt down humans it was seen as not appropriate to release after such a tragedy. The film eventually did see a release in 2020, but did very poorly at the box office. Probably due to a combo of being released just prior to the COVID outbreak and low quality. It probably left many believing that we had seen the end of humans hunting humans films.
I did not think that as there are many hunting enthusiasts out there and the idea of hunting the most intelligent and difficult prey – humans – has got to be a tempting one. As such, that as a theme in film will crop up every now and then.
As in the latest Jimmy Henderson (Final Semester, Jailbreak) film, The Prey. The prey from the title is once again human and the film is loosely based on the Richard Connell story, The Most Dangerous Game. The Italian director/screenwriter was born in Italy and now works out of Cambodia. He has made a handful of films before.
Working as a cop is dangerous enough, but when you go undercover the risk goes up exponentially. This is what Chinese undercover cop Xin (Gu Shangwei – first film) finds out the hard way. While working on a secret (aren’t they all?) international case he finds himself snatched up as part of a raid and ends up in Cambodia.
Not just Cambodia but in some kind of jail in the jungle there. The jail is being run by a warden (Vithaya Pansringarm – Only God Forgives, The Hangover Part II) with seemingly no moral compass and the guards are just as brutal. Soon it comes to light that Xin will be part of a hunt – a hunt in which he will be the target and humans will be hunting him. These wealthy people want the thrill of hunting other humans. Instead of being the person doing the hunting (for criminals) Xin has to use his skills to avoid being killed.
Something just did not click for me here. The idea is interesting as I am not one to be turned off by the humans hunting humans because…well…it is a film. Lots can happen in films which I would not want to happen in real life. Part of the problem was the obvious lack of money. This had the look and feel of a low budget production. What could have been done with the story (which is not bad) suffered as a result. While it pretends to be filled with martial arts style action scenes it was kinda light on that, so I could not even distract myself with that. Still, I was struggling to find something to cling to or like here and then then ending. So laughable! I couldn’t. I gave up totally at that point.