It’s a posting which could be regarded as neither desirable nor advantageous to her career, but it has to be done. Inveree is the very definition of a one horse town and the horse just died, and before the night is out it won’t be the only one.
Staying at a local bed and breakfast until she can find something more suitable, newly assigned Police Constable Rachel Heggie (M.I. High‘s Pollyanna McIntosh) is suffering from nightmares of blood and feathers and waves crashing against rocks, but when she wakes she finds a black feather on the pillow, stirring memories she thought left behind.
Her disturbing dreams are understandable given her situation having been made less than welcome by P.C. Jack Warnock (Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz‘ Bryan Larkin) and P.C. Jennifer Mundie (Outcast‘s Hanna Stanbridge), more focused on each other than the job, and Sergeant MacReady (Outlander‘s Douglas Russell) is too busy with the self-loathing to be an effective superior officer, caught between the Bible and the bottle.
Heading in for the night shift, she’s almost knocked down by a reckless driver, but another pedestrian is not so fortunate, frozen in the headlights as the car screeches to a halt. Rachel takes the driver into custody, but the man whom they both saw in the middle of the road is nowhere to be found. MacReady knows the youth, Caesar Sargison (The Casual Vacancy‘s Brian Vernel), a regular at the cop shop, and takes delight in placing him in cells opposite his former teacher, another regular in for the night after beating his wife again.
The evening looks to be settling down when in walks the injured man (Game of Thrones and Outcasts‘ Liam Cunningham) but he won’t talk; they summon Doctor Hume (The Anomaly‘s Niall Greig Fulton) who promptly tries to stab his patient. With the clock rolling towards midnight, it’s going to be a long night after all…
A dysfunctional team in a closed environment with a basement full of detainees, all of them have something to hide and the stranger in cell six is an instigator of trouble with a hold on all of them, lighting the fuse on their sins.
Largely set in the single location of the police station it reminds of Last Shift, though the premise is more developed in terms of narrative, presentation and performance, the sinister supernatural undercurrent rising and catching each of the players in its swell.
At times it feels like an Amicus portmanteau, each of the characters brought together to be reminded of their transgressions and then forced to atone, at least that is the hope, but the occupant of cell six doesn’t think much of their chances. “We’re not in the salvation game here, Rachel, just retribution.”
Rachel is a survivor, but even she is unprepared for what is coming, and the violence when it arrives is shocking and brutal for the domestic setting and nature of it. “The truth isn’t going to do anyone any good, is it?” Jennifer taunts Rachel, and with limited options left she may just have to make a deal with the devil and face her own nightmares if anyone is to get out alive.
What the production lacks in budget director Brian O’Malley more than makes up for in the claustrophobic atmosphere of his imaginative staging of David Cairns and Fiona Watson’s script. Originally premiered at the 2014 Edinburgh International Film Festival, Let Us Prey has received limited release in Ireland and abroad and deserves to be seen by a wider audience with an appreciation for well produced and performed horror.
Let Us Prey is currently scheduled for release on DVD on 26th October