In the Afghanistan desert, a group of mercenaries out for treasure complete their greatest heist. Seeking refuge from the hunting Taliban in a nearby cave, they are soon joined by retreating US soldiers, and both groups are trapped within by a rocket explosion at the cave’s entrance. The newly joined parties need to work together to find an escape through the labyrinth but soon realize they’re being tracked by a deadly beast that local legend calls Karnoctus; and they have become… the prey.

The Hensman Brothers‘ 80’s B-style monster horror actioner knows its audience and that isn’t the only thing that works in their favour. Even though it’s all very schlockish, there’s a great eye for detail which makes The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus an easy watch. The clever use of colour, practical effects and deliberate editing aren’t only the film’s greatest feats, it’s something I hardly expected to be impressed by going into this.

Nick Chinlund and Danny Trejo are the first names that ring a bell, and while these two Con Air stars are so much fun to watch, there’s a bunch of new talent who aren’t wasting their time and are down to get dirty. There’s great on screen dynamic from the moment we get to meet these young actors and that translates well on camera.

The story isn’t highly original and takes some time to get going. If it leaned more into the getting trapped in a cave aspect of The Descent and less into the getting chased by a knock-off Predator – including X-ray vision, it might’ve lingered longer. Nonetheless, The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus is a fun throwback to schlock horror that might just reinvigorate the genre.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Reviewed online (screener provided by publicist), July 3, 2022. Running time: 93 min.

PRODUCTION: A Lennexe Films, Cinematicrex Productions a Mano & Mano Films production, in association with Chu Media. Producers: Juan Feldman, Eric Hensman, Lane Miccio & Gustavo Sainz de la Peña. Executive producers: Matthew Hensman, Joel Schechter & Rene Veluzat.

CREW: Directors/editors: Eric Hensman & Matthew Hensman. Writers: Matthew Hensman & Gustavo Sainz de la Peña. Cinematography: Morgan Schmidt. Music: David Velez.

CAST: Danny Trejo, Nick Chinlund, Adrian Paul, Kevin Grevioux, Fahim Fazli, Reka Rene, Cleveland Berto, Masika Kalysha, Essam Morsi & Justin Arnold.

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