‘The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus’ Movie Review

‘The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus’ follows a group of mercenaries that have come to the Afghanistan desert to pull off their greatest heist, but of all the caves in all the world, they had to pick the one with an Afghani Sasquatch. 

Around the same time as they are pulling off their heist, a platoon of US soldiers finds themselves under fire by a group of Taliban.

After being forced to retreat, the surviving American soldiers seek refuge from the hunting Taliban in a nearby cave just as the entrance to the cave collapses, sealing the troops inside.

Once inside, the soldiers discover that the mercenaries are also using the cave as cover and had a plan to lay low and sneak out during the cover of night with their treasure.

Forced to work together to find a way out of the cave, the new group soon finds that getting out might not be the biggest threat they face, as they soon discover they are being tracked by a deadly beast that local legend calls Karnoctus. And they have become… the prey.

Overall, ‘The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus’ is a simple story about a group of people confined in a single location while being systematically picked off by a monstrous threat. But before you think to yourself, “I’ve already seen this film,” know that the makers behind ‘The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus’ are aware you have seen those other films and made this movie to pay homage to those action-adventure monster films of the 1980s.

But, the good thing about this film is that, instead of slapping you in the face with nostalgic references, it allows you to draw comparisons to the movies from your past.

One of the biggest comparisons comes in the form of the mercenaries, who feel like they’re ripped from the action movies of yesterday: musclebound men who throw out an endless stream of quips and can walk off debilitating injuries as if they were nothing more than a mild inconvenience. After all, these heroes don’t have time to bleed.

The rest of the cast features your atypical cannon fodder characters that are standard in all horror films. There are some characters that you would be hard-pressed to remember the names of, and others that you are just waiting to see get picked off.

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The creature itself isn’t heavily featured in the film, but it feels like this was done intentionally. Often, dedicating a lot of screen time to the monster can diminish the overall effect that it’s supposed to have on the viewer, as the more we see the monster, the less of an impact it has on the audience. This is especially true when you have a monster that is supposed to be stalking its prey throughout the movie. You need to instil this sense of dread in the viewer so that they feel a sense of anxiety when your protagonist is placed in a precarious situation.

While some may have an issue with the limited screen time dedicated to the monster, you only need to think back to the original ‘Predator’ film. In that movie, the predator only had eight minutes of screen time. Which is double the amount of time the xenomorph in the original ‘Alien’ movie had. And when you watch these scenes of the monster stalking its prey, you can’t help but draw similarities between this movie and ‘Predator’, a film that feels like it heavily influenced the overall tone of the film.

To make up for the lack of screen time the monster receives, the film attempts to add an additional element of suspense by introducing the idea that our trapped soldiers are suffering from hallucinations. This is an element that feels unnecessary, especially when some of the hallucinations are sexual in nature. 

What would have worked better was if the filmmakers would have introduced the idea of smaller threats throughout the cave, in order to break up the lull times. This concept is briefly introduced when one of the soldiers has a camel spider crawling up their back. But after quickly disposing of the eight-legged menace, this aspect never comes back into play. This really felt like a missed opportunity.

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On a scale of 1-5 stars, I give this movie 3.5 stars.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The film suffers from a limited budget, which is evident in the special and practical effects, but if you’re a fan of action-adventure monster movies like ‘Predator’ or ‘Alien’, then ‘The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus’ might just hit all those nostalgic buttons for you. Just don’t expect to be blown away.

The action-adventure monster movie will open in Los Angeles on June 3, 2022 at the Regency Theatres Van Nuys Plant 16 for a weeklong run. On June 7, The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus will be available nationwide on all major Cable VOD platforms, including Comcast, Dish, Charter, DirecTV, Cox, and Verizon Fios.

On July 7, ‘The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus’ will debut on digital platforms, including iTunes, Prime Video, Vudu, and Google Play.

‘The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus’ stars Nick Chinlund as Tagger, Danny Trejo as Vega, Kevin Grevioux as Reid, Justin Arnold as Griffin, Masika Kalysha as Lake, Adrian Paul as Gunnar, Matt Musgrove as Sullivan, Ny’acies Divine as Paine, Fito De la Parra as Canned Heat, Mingyu Chu as Chen, Fahim Fazil as Jangi, Essam Ferris as Maalik, Cleveland Berto as Cody, Cleo Anthony as Lennexe, Benny Mora as Bryer, Ryan McIntyre as Wonder Bread, Juan Feldman as Gerard, Jacob Charlot as Jackson, and Miles Cooper as Riggs. 

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