Let Us Prey
Wow, this is a remake of the movie I watched earlier this month, The Traveler
! Now, I don’t think it is supposed to be a remake, but it’s so incredibly similar that I have trouble believing it wasn’t at least based on that movie. It even has the same kind of super-retro synth soundtrack that sounds like John Carpenter made it.
This is once again the story of a very empty police station, into which a guy shows up who doesn’t talk a lot, and who they throw in jail. This time he doesn’t confess crimes though, he just kind of sits around fiddling with a box of matches and causing people to die magically. Oh, and at a couple points he whistles a short tune which I am pretty sure is the same one the guy in The Traveler whistled. Anyway, as before, it turns out that the cops in the station are all evil for various reasons (as are the people locked up in the jail cells), and we learn about their crimes and they get punished for them by dying horribly. There’s even a situation like The Traveler, in which two of the cops conspired to beat a suspect to death previously (hey, at least it wasn’t all of them this time).
There is one cop who is new to the area and just started there today though, and she is not evil. Or at least, she isn’t until the very end when things get downright strange and she makes a choice that I truly can’t connect to her character at all. If you have seen this movie, please answer me this: “Whaa!?!?!?!” That’s my question about the very last scene.
Everything gets explained pretty clearly in this movie, it’s not left vague and mysterious, but there is that decision she makes that just doesn’t even begin to make sense to me. Maybe I missed some key subtext in there? I just don’t know. But overall, this is a far far better movie than The Traveler. It is, like Proxy, chock full of crazy people (at least two of the seemingly-normal people in this movie turn out to be serial killers in their spare time! And those are just the people with the highest body counts, everybody else is pretty far off the rails too). Oh, and speaking of odd decisions, I still don’t understand what made the captain return to the station to do what he did. I mean, yeah, there were some weird hallucinations and he was into Bible stuff and killin’, but none of that adequately explains him flipping around into a complete nutjob. So that’s weird. I guess you could say on the whole, I didn’t understand the characters’ motivations in this movie. Even the villain, who turns out to be a pretty widely known mythological figure - his entire scheme of making these people die doesn’t really fit anything I’ve ever heard about what he does. It just seems random.
3.5/5 Val Kilmerlessnesses.
My Movie Idea:
I feel like this practically was
my movie idea for The Traveler! Not quite how I described, but it was certainly that movie done better. I didn’t have any particularly grand notions while watching this in truth. The only thing that sprang to mind mid-movie (this is a bit of a spoiler for this movie, and it’s not super interesting so feel free to skip it) was how they often have something like this: a demon or perhaps the devil driving people to die in some way. They do it because it’s visceral and a clear threat. Nobody wants to die, so an entity causing death is a good threat for a movie. But it’s not really what the devil would want. He doesn’t want people to die, who cares whether you get their soul now or in 50 years, when you live forever? What he should be trying to do is corrupt nice people to make them evil so he gets their souls later on down the line. That I think could be more interesting. Instead of making the bad people kill themselves, make the good people get confused and twisted up into being evil - perhaps by making them kill bad people! Then he gets the bad soul right now, and the good soul has gone bad, so he’ll get it later! Or he can arrange one of the other good people to kill them. Or even forget magically making them do things they wouldn’t, just talk to them and make them see things in such a way that they actually decide immoral stuff is moral, something like that. That’s what the devil should be about - twisting you around so you think you’re doing good when you’re really not. More psychological, less ramming-your-head-into-metal-bars.