Lifetime Film Review: A Predator Returns: Stalker’s Prey 3 (dir by Colin Theys)

Bruce is back!

Played by Houston Stevenson, Bruce is the character at the center of Lifetime’s Stalker’s Prey trilogy.  Bruce is a handsome, charming young man who loves studying the ocean and who, even more importantly, loves studying sharks.  In fact, sharks tend to follow Bruce wherever he goes.  You have to understand that Bruce is one of those people who has to move around a lot.  He has a bad habit of becoming obsessed with teenage girls and then feeding his romantic rivals to his shark.  Poor Bruce.  If only he had more confidence in himself!  Anyway, you can usually find Bruce hanging out in the marina or near the bay.  Usually, he’ll be using an assumed name but you can always tell that it’s Bruce because he’s the guy who won’t stop talking about how much he loves the water.

A Predator Returns finds Bruce calling himself David and telling everyone that he’s an oceanography students.  He’s living in a deserted lighthouse and seems to be content to spend all of his time feeding his sharks.  However, when he spots a group of teenagers swimming near the lighthouse, everything pretty much goes downhill from there.  After he rescues the teenagers from his sharks, Bruce quickly becomes obsessed with Courtney (Leigha Sinotti).  Courtney is having trouble at home, largely because of her demanding mother and her overprotective father.  Soon, she’s running around with Bruce and staying out until five in the morning.  Courtney’s father takes an automatic dislike to Bruce.  Uh-oh, looks like someone’s about to become shark bait.

Bruce and Courtney’s relationship gets pretty serious.  How serious?  At one point, Bruce shouts, “BRUCE IS GOING TO BE A DADDY!”  Of course, by the time Bruce finds out about that, Courtney has already dumped him because he’s such an obvious psycho.  Bruce is determined to get Courtney back, even if it means framing her for murder.

Especially when compared to Stalker’s Prey and A Predator’s Obsession, there isn’t much shark action in A Predator Returns.  The shark’s do much an appearance, of course and they do eat a few unfortunate victims.  But, compared to the previous films, they still don’t play a huge role in the story.  That was a bit disappointing, as the sharks really were the main attractions in the previous two Stalker’s Prey films.  You really can’t introduce sharks and then just kind of push them to the side.  It’s the rule of Chekhov’s Shark.  If you introduce a shark during act one, it’s going to have to eat at least a dozen people by the end of act three.

That said, Huston Stevenson really dug into the role of crazy Bruce and he was well-matched by Leigha Sinotti as Courtney.  The film was full of winking references to Jaws and a host of other horror films and it’s impossible not to enjoy a film that’s so clearly in on the joke.  Director Colin Theys keeps the action moving quickly and the movie ends a nicely ambiguous note, one that suggests that the story may not be quite over.  If there’s anything that I’ve learned from watching these films, it’s that sharks have 9 lives and, for that matter, so does Bruce!

One response to “Lifetime Film Review: A Predator Returns: Stalker’s Prey 3 (dir by Colin Theys)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 11/22/21 — 11/28/21 | Through the Shattered Lens

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