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Cast: Seth Gandrud, Ashley Smith, Blake Laramie, Ben Foster, Eleni C. Krimitsos, David C. Hayes, Kevin Moyers
Three young adults meet a charismatic stranger at closing time of the bar where they work. They accept an invitation to join a late night gathering he is attending with some friends in a secluded desert house. At first charmed by their interesting hosts, a violent encounter changes the tone of their evening, and the group begins to realize that all may not be as it seems with their new acquaintances. Faced now with a decision to either wait out the morning or plot an escape, they contend not only with the ambiguous true nature of their hosts, but also strange, unknown humanoid creatures roaming the desert who may pose a threat to all involved.
One thing I noticed right from the start was that this was going to be a film about it's characters and one that would rely on it's cast to make them realistic and believable as possible considering the subject matter. The cast which is the most important part of the film here does a terrific job for the most part at playing their roles, in particular Aaron Ginn-Forsberg does a fantastic job playing the charismatic yet evil stranger and I was also impressed with Stephanie Meredith Weyant who plays Randi, one of the barmaids that doesn't seem to have much of an interest in joining in on this party at first.
"Predatory Instinct" uses the little budget it has well and focuses more on the characters, motives and it's ability to build on suspense as the film movies along than it's gore. Towards the end of the film is where we see most of the action and it also contains a few nice twists I never seen coming which was a welcome surprise.
"Predatory Instinct" won the award for Best Horror at the Phoenix Comicon Film Festival 2011 and for good reason, it's a well made film that keeps you guessing on what is going to happen next and it's full of interesting characters. More a suspense/thriller with some horror elements it's an original idea that's executed well. If you're a fan of Independent cinema you owe it to yourself to check this one out.
This is an impressive debut for Director, Daniel Alexander who not only has a great eye for the genre but for story-telling in general as well. I look forward to seeing what he and everyone else involved has coming out next.
You can order the DVD HERE.
"Predatory Instinct" is a film that uses everything it has to perfection, a character-drive suspense thriller that grabs your interest right from the start and keeps you invested it's entire run time, right down to it's shocking ending, that's a winner to me.
Released by Midnight Releasing
*** 1/2 Out of *****