PROWL (After Dark Originals - Lionsgate): Movie Review

Prowl from After Dark Originals and Lionsgate Movie Review
by Jason Lees,

First off, a quick round of applause to “Prowl” for being a brand new vampire flick with an attractive cast and not a single stitch lifted from a “Twilight” movie. Nope, “Prowl” may not be all that original, but at least it borrows from honest vampire movies.

Instead of teen angst pictures with blood, “Prowl” is from the “30 Days of Night” sect. As a matter of fact, this could almost have been a direct-to-dvd sequel if the right people would have gotten together before it was distributed. Instead of an After Dark Original, this well could have been “30 Days Part 3.” And while that may come off as snarky, I actually do mean it as a sort of praise.

Prowl” starts off masquerading as another ‘teens stranded on the side of the road” pic but quickly takes a turn. We are meant to think we’re in for a roadside slasher flick a la “Joyride” when our group of way too good looking teens hitch a ride in the back of a semi when their van breaks down. It’s even staged to look a bit like the opening of Tobe Hooper’s “Chainsaw” when the van slows to a halt. Instead of power tools, our group instead runs into an abandoned slaughterhouse that is infested with rabid vampires.

(This may seem like a spoiler since the first twenty minutes try so hard to keep the film’s intent a mystery but I don’t feel bad divulging this little fact since it’s pretty prominently displayed on the trailer. There are other, better surprises that I won’t give away.)

What “Prowl” winds up being is a hybrid, and a pretty sharp one at that. Tim Tori’s script brings in the aforementioned film ingredients but also throws in some little character pieces not too often done in flicks like this. Instead of a group of teens with obvious longings and desires that pretty much dictate how the film is going to end (shy guy gets girl, snob gets offed, enemies become allies), what “Prowl” gives us is a nice brick wall at about the hour mark. It’s a nice pacing shock that left me honestly surprised. Maybe I had my pompous expectations set too low, but I was really off guard by just violent and jarring this movie got. And more kudos to director Syversen for staging the vampire attacks in a way that not only was probably far beyond his budget, but also in a way I’d never seen before. Again, I might have gone in with lowered expectations, but I was really digging this slaughterhouse bloodbath.

At least I was. The finale (and here I’m going to keep my mouth shut- finally) is a bit of a stretch. Yes, it’s well set up and the more I think about it, I should have seen it coming, but even then, for me, it just didn’t work. It’s not so farfetched as to ruin the movie for me, but it just didn’t seem to gel with the rest of the flick, even if it did explain some of the earlier inconsistencies. Sometimes I’d rather have characters do things for dumb reasons than have the reality of the film be dumb.

Having said that, “Prowl” is still worth checking out. It is good and violent and far better acted than it has any right to be. After Dark could do far worse than to give us another chapter of this next year.

Find PROWL movie details from Lionsgate here

Prowl (Patrik Syversen, 2010)
GENRE: Horror
CC: Yes
COLOR: Color

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