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Review Prooi a.k.a. Prey (2016): An enjoyable monster movie if you can get past the bad CGI!

genre: comedy, horror, thriller

Dick Maas is a Dutch film maker who is specialised in making horror films and comedies. Sometimes he blends these two genres often with very mixed results. For the most part I appreciate his work since he does make films that for some reason are rarely produced in The Netherlands. I don't really understand why that is since like in many parts of the world horror is immensely popular. But if I had to guess it could be getting the finances to get the films produced. In The Netherlands there are only a few options and it could be that investors are a little picky. Which doesn't always mean that the ones they choose are automatically good. Far from it. So what about Prooi (Prey)? 

Honestly it was not bad. It wasn't nearly as cringe worthy or agonizing a lot of people claimed. However this being a B movie and all this certainly is not a crowd pleaser. For that it is too lacking but it has to be said that Dick Maas did try his best to make a serious movie with here and there some comedic moments. And while I admire this ambition it is what detracts from the fun factor. Because you see, the whole premise is ridiculous. Which in itself is fine. However in order to make everything somewhat believable you have to sell it. I mean really sell it. But it fails to do so since the lion is horribly animated. I am curious why Dick Maas decided to show so much of the lion since with a little more movie magic he could have made it work. I am thinking of only showing bits and pieces of the lion or darken the environment for the full body shots. No one in their right mind will take this film seriously and it is quite the mystery to me why Dick Maas did not go over the top like he did with Sint (Saint). If you can't provide the dread then at least offer some creative kills or a high body count. More comedy certainly would have been welcome as well. 

This brings me to another culprit which is the lack of tension and suspense. The lion is a good monster for sure. He is intelligent and doesn't discriminate. He kills every human on his path. It is safe to say I was rooting for the lion pretty much all the time. If only he had more tricks up his sleeve. Apart from some I won't spoil, you can predict what is coming and when he will strike. They kept saying how unusual it was for the lion to behave the way he does but actually never go into how and why it was happening. I mean I was very willing to believe a lion had escaped from some zoo or crazy animal lover but they discounted all of that without offering any other explanation. I remember a movie called The Ghost and the Darkness where the lions almost seemed like supernatural beings and terrified everyone even the most cold blooded hunters. I would not be surprised if Dick Maas was inspired by this film. Too bad he did not pay attention to the elements that made that film chilling. 

Despite it's flaws I found the film to be entertaining enough. One to watch on rainy Sundays or very late at night. Although I do have to add that Dick Maas needs to keep his ego in check since he seems to be convinced that this is one of his best films. No, it's not Dick. It's not your worst either but I know you can do better. Less is more. You should not have shown the lion so prominently. Letting this unseen monster kill people left and right would have been far scarier. And you know what really would have been fantastic? If the monster wasn't a lion at all. But something else. All this time you had made people think it was a lion and it wasn't. Bizarre twist I know but it would have been pretty ballsy and incredibly amusing. Why don't you just make a proper slasher film? You don't need a lot of money to make those. I certainly would pay to watch it. That should say something because I never watch Dutch films in the cinema. 

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