The Netflix film Loot is a German thriller in which five boys struggle to survive in the jungle while an unseen pursuer tries to shoot them with a deer rifle.
And that’s it – it’s a low-budget thriller genre with almost nothing extra, so lower your expectations, scroll down the menu. But there’s always hope that the simple premise will provide its fair share of suspense, or at least be a classic case with minimal action and maximum direction.
Beach: a man and a woman are in love there. Kissing, swimming, walking hand in hand.
Beautiful. Perfect. Now the forest: five boys are kayaking. It’s Roman (David Cross) bachelorette party, so he and his brother Albert (Hano Coffler) and his friends Vincent (Jung Ngo), Peter (Robert Finster) and Stefan (Klaus Steinbacher) are rude to him.
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As teenagers, they roam and climb castle ruins to explore the outdoors. They were sitting by the fire when they heard gunfire in the distance, but perhaps not far enough in the distance. Maybe just a hunter. You don’t really have to worry about anything at all?
People talk about this job and this job which eases a bit of tension between people. They find a small toy with a unicorn, and Albert puts it in his gift bag. Nothing significant, I’m sure. No. Albert almost fell into the gap. They broke the egg, just another camping trip.
You get back in the car, and there’s another shot, this time closer. You look around and scream a little. It must be hunting season, and he must be the hunter, and the hunter must have missed it because the bullet hit Albert’s arm. What now?
They wrapped themselves around Albert’s wound, and another bullet came. It’s about the tires. Next broken window. He banished them to a shelter in the forest. Of course, there is no cell phone signal. This is what you really get when you are offline and out of it all.
They argue about what to do and where the trail might be, and how to navigate, but Stefan knows the forest relatively well, so he leads them down this trail, a trail that has nothing to do with which side the tree fungus grows. Roman returns to the beach, pause stunned by his future wife Lisa (Livia Matthes).
He was stung by a jellyfish and came to the rescue, took him out of the water.
Here he is, my hero. Watch him walk. Back on the run from a mad Sagittarius, he might as well be the hero here; he must have liked the characters in this movie the most because one guy had his feet wet and the other was a tour guide, and then he had a sprained ankle and was already injured. We’ll see if someone dies and in what order, so maybe it’s time to set up an office pool.
Well, Prey is one of those films where you delve into the classic moral mystery. Do selfish J-holes deserve to be killed for reasons unrelated to their J-holes? There’s nothing more to think about here.
Director Thomas Sieben emphasizes the situational tension when tightening the screws, but the screwdriver battery is weak.
The directors’ petty arguments undermine the immediacy of the dramatic situation as if everyone is talking about the vague idea that one person helps another find a job if a bullet could came out of the woods at any moment and hit one of their vital bullets.
Maybe we should give the film the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he wanted to show how extreme circumstances bring out a person’s true character – one is a good person, the other is weak, and the other two are different shades of stupidity.
The problem is that we need more than a clue about their personality before they find themselves in difficult life or death situations. Developments in act three introduce a potential component of emotional action that is never needed. All of this criticism might not matter if Sieben choreographed maximum suspense and showed more hot directing, but with Prey, he’s just content to do the job with dismal efficiency.