Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pra/ey – review

Director: Ray Rodriguez

Release date: 2012

Contains spoilers

This was a short I stumbled over on YouTube and, probably more correctly, it should be entitled Lia Scott Price’s Pra/ey. From what I can gather it is one of a few shorts created around the fictional world created by Lia Scott Price, at the time of review it has no IMDb page (though other related shorts do) but it is available via Amazon as a short on dvd-r.

I was rather taken by (some) of the lore in this but the entire non-existence of budget really did doom the short.

Jennifer Cannon as the psychiatrist
It begins with a psychiatrist (Jennifer Cannon) arriving at work. She receives a call from her mother and begins to talk about a patient (Lia Scott Price) who doesn’t want her to pray to her guardian angel for her. Now, if there is one thing that annoys me (and to be honest there are several things, I am rather grumpy) it is health care professionals involving their religion with their patients. It has no place, religion is private and, whether you have one or not, you should not ram it down another person’s throat, especially if placed in a position of trust with that person. That said it is something that seems to stick in Lia Scott Price’s craw too, as we will see.

The mother then apparently asks the psychiatrist why she prays to guardian angels (as the psychiatrist goes on to answer the question). This was, unfortunately, trite dialogue making us immediately question why a woman’s own mother wouldn’t be aware of her daughter’s religious beliefs. The building they shot the hospital in has signs up saying “under construction”, which explains why the place looks so derelict but the question becomes why a patient would be in there. Said patient is drawing images of angels with fangs that drip blood. She sees feathers and blood coats her hands.

blood on hands
The psychiatrist gives the patient a shot and asks why she goes to the church and tells people not to pray to their guardian angels. She says that when you pray you are prey and that they do not know what guardian angels really are. They are vampires, she says. She is being held (by the look of things the only patient) because she is delusional – she sees things, the things she has written about. She says she writes because she saw them. The psychiatrist forces her to be involved in a prayer before going off to a room. Now, later, this patient will crawl out of the room... but a patient who is medicated so strongly she must crawl, a patient held against her will even, would surely be secured better than that.

rubbish wings
The psychiatrist goes to a desk and, looking at the empty syringe, orders more meds. The tip here has to be, 'make your procedures believable.' Meds involve paperwork and are not gauged via empty syringes. Plus she doesn’t even say what meds (but with one patient perhaps they can guess). The lights go out and a man comes in. He has wings (and, I don’t mean to be overly negative but they looked absolutely awful) and fangs. He proceeds to eat the psychiatrist as he is Gabriel (Brandon Murphy Barnes), her guardian angel, a being sick of whining humans. As well as biting her he tortures her with a knife and pulls her innards out.

Now, the whole angel as vampire I rather liked. The idea that you pray to a celestial being and they come and eat you was rather cool. It was a little hokey, however, when he suggested that guardian angels became vampires because one of them was bitten and then they all became vampires. To fully spoil the story the patient is revealed as a vampire by the end and Gabriel thanks her for making him – did she bite him, did she create them through her writing, is he part of her delusion (made flesh?). This was intriguing and can be played with but, honestly, probably not without a budget, I suspect it might all work so much better in book form.

I have mentioned the rubbish wings but should also mention pink blood and lacklustre cinematography that all look rather amateurish. A good idea can carry much and excuse even more but it cannot excuse everything, especially if you are charging money for it. 2 out of 10 for the interesting premise.


BloodRedHeroine said...

Quite frankly, this sounds god-awful!

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi BloodRedHeroine, I do like to try and find the positive in things and the vampiric angel aspect appealed to me... but execution wise, you are quite correct, it is.