Let Us Prey: The God Squad A Review ***Spoilers***
Let Us Prey is a UK production and a 2014 film. Brian O’Malley (first feature film) directed Let Us Prey from a script by Fiona Watson and David Cairns (first feature). Starring Liam Cunningham (Titanic, Game of Thrones) as Six, Let Us Prey, is a blood-drenched story about the wages of sin.
As I watched Let Us Prey, I remembered Frailty
Let us Prey is similar to Frailty, a 2001 American movie starring Bill Paxton (and oh how he is missed) and Matthew McConaughey. And like Let Us Prey, Frailty is based on a “list.” In Frailty, Paxton played Meiks, a single father with two sons. Meiks has a list of names, given to him, he claims, by God. The people on the list are demons, he assures his boys. He enlists his sons to help him. As Paxton’s Meiks kidnaps and kills, he crosses names off his list. One of his sons suffers doubts, as his father kills seemingly innocent people. Later, we discover that father knows best.
In Let Us Prey, each “victim” is a murderer.
In Let Us Prey,” “Six” (Liam Cunningham), like Meiks, has a battered notebook. The notebook contains a list, names of the guilty. Six will exact payment from those who murder and are cruel in the name of justice, self-hate and cowardice.
Let Us Prey begins with the rolling waves of an angry sea.
Soon, we’re on a deserted highway leading to a small Scottish town where a woman wakes from a nightmare. After rising, she puts on a police uniform. Rachael Heggie (Pollyanna McIntosh—The Walking Dead) is the newest member of the town’s police force, which includes Sergeant Macready and officers Jennifer Mundie and Jack Warnock.
It’s night as Officer Heggie walks to work.
As she walks on the empty streets, she sees a man standing in the middle of the road. Suddenly, a car suddenly appears and hits the man. The unrepentant driver, a young punk named Caesar, stops. But, there’s no trace of the victim. Where did he go? He must be badly injured. With the victim nowhere in sight, Heggie cuffs Caesar.
When Heggie delivers him to Sergeant Macready, Macready greets Caesar with a punch to his insolent gut.
Heggie radios Mundie and Warnock who are busy having sex in the squad car. She tells them to find the victim. When they don’t find him, they report back to the station where Caesar waits in a cell across from Mulvey, a schoolteacher arrested for beating his wife.
Unlike Frailty, there is no question of innocence in Six’s baleful stare.
Then the “victim” walks into the station. His name is Six, he tells them, and there are seven names in his book of to-dos for tonight. From his fingerprints, Macready and Heggie discover that Six is an old man, much older than he appears, and his records say that Six died years ago. The officers call in Dr. Hume to examine the victim. As the doctor takes a look at him, Six murmurs something. Hume gasps, saying, “You know!!” Without warning, the doctor attacks Six. This results in Hume’s joining the teacher and the punk in the pokey.
The eerie tone of Let Us Prey, with its isolated streets and empty shops, reminded me of The Twilight Zone.
As the evening progresses, with the flick of a match, the sins of each character are revealed. Six calls each sinner to account. The guilty panic and turn on each other until only a crazed Macready and Heggie are left. We learn that as a little girl, Heggie was the victim of a child predator. Unlike The Twilight Zone, the violence is graphic and bloody, reflecting Six’s humorless character, whose disagreement with someone in power he tells them, landed him this gig.
His Old Testament stare is enough to make you think twice about leaving the cap off the toothpaste.
Despite the violence, Heggie has kept to the moral high ground. So what’s her sin? “You’ve evolved,” Six explains after dispatching Macready to Hell. Because the others are new to Hell, he confides, and in for a rough ride. When it comes to Hell, Heggie is a frequent flyer and eligible for an upgrade.
Six’s explanation was confusing; I thought we were in Old Testament territory, not Buddhist reincarnation land.
This highly stylized film practices what Six seeks to punish—gratuitous violence. “I’m lonely,” Six tells Heggie; would she like to be his companion? He entices her with promises of raining hellfire on the worst of humanity.
The thought of being on the God Squad, playing Hutch to Six’s Starsky makes Heggie smile.
They kiss, and after all that blood and all those body parts, the kiss seemed a little out of place. Even so, I can think of worse things than an eternity with Liam Cunningham; however, if I were Heggie, I’d remember to always put the cap back on the toothpaste.