Soldiers and mercenaries must join forces to take on a creature in this action thriller featuring some veteran talent.
In the Afghanistan desert, a band of soldiers have learned that they are to go to a local village. However, the village has been under siege by a band of mercenaries who have just pulled off one of their greatest heists. When the soldiers find the mercenaries, the two factions go after each other and soon enough, both are lured into a nearby cave. When a rocket explodes and impacts the entrance, the soldiers are tapped along with mercenary leader Tagger and his number one Reid. However, that’s going to be the least of their problems.
During the battle, one of the mercenaries, Vega, refuses to go to the cave as he has warned Reid about a monster who lurks in the cave. The monster is known as the Karnoctus and it begins to attack the soldiers. To make matters worse, some of the soldiers begin to experience hallucinations due to a canister exploding. However, despite the consequences, Tagger, Reid, and the remaining soldiers must find a way to escape the cave or risk facing death against the Karnoctus.
From the Hensman Brothers comes this creature feature where we have two rival factions are forced to team up against the titular monster when they are trapped in a cave. The film has a complete claustrophobic feel to things once the action is set in the cave. However, we are treated to some action not only in the opening scene where we are introduced to the Karnoctus via shadows and the gunfight between the mercenaries and the group of soldiers who approach the village.
The cast does a great job here. Nick Chinlund is excellent as mercenary leader Tagger, who pulls off a major heist and soon becomes a different sort of leader when he and his number one, the tough talking Reid, played by Underworld’s Kevin Grevioux, must try to get themselves and the young soldiers out of the cave. Tagger talks a big game, but even he becomes unaware of the monster Karnoctus until Reid warns him of the monster once it attacks the soldiers.
There are some fun bits between the soldiers as they are introduced talking about nostalgic toys and video games, with two arguing between Star Wars and G.I. Joe. Masika Kalysha is excellent as the female soldier Lake, who must serve as acting leader when her commanding officer Griffin, played by Justin Arnold, experiences the hallucinations that transpire from the canister explosion. One soldier brings out some perverted hallucinations, even admiring Lake’s “outfit” in his eyes.
In a very good idea, the Karnoctus is no CGI atrocity, but goes the practical effect with two actors sporting the suit. Co-star Mingyu Chu, who plays soldier Chen; and Pat Jankiewicz play the role of the titular Karnoctus. The death scenes are not over the top and provide some pretty decent scares considering the claustrophobic feel of the film when it hits the cave. It gets to where one soldier flips when he experiences a camel spider in the cave, teasing us thinking he saw the Karnoctus. The finale is quite unpredictable and is well thought out.
The Prey: The Legend of Karnoctus is a fun popcorn creature vs. soldiers film that has some nice twists mixed in with a pretty good cast comprised of veterans and virtual newcomers.
WFG RATING: B
A Lennexe Films production in association with Mano A Mano Films and Chu Media. Directors: Eric Hensman and Matthew Hensman. Producers: Lance Miccio, Juan Feldman, Eric Hensman, and Gustavo Sainz de la Pena. Writers: Matthew Hensman and Gustavo Sainz de la Pena. Cinematography: Morgan Schmidt. Editing: Eric and Matthew Hensman.
Cast: Nick Chinlund, Justin Arnold, Matt Musgrove, Masika Kalysha, Kevin Grevioux, Adolfo de la Parra, Adrian Paul, Danny Trejo, Cleo Anthony, Juan Feldman, Mingyu Chu, Pat Jankiewicz
The film is now on Cable VOD and will be out on Digital on July 7.