The Predator films takes a step backward to invigorate the franchise.
Set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago, “Prey” is the story of a young woman, Naru, a fierce and highly skilled warrior. She has been raised in the shadow of some of the most legendary hunters who roam the Great Plains, so when danger threatens her camp, she sets out to prove herself a worthy hunter. The prey she stalks, and ultimately confronts, turns out to be a highly evolved alien Predator with a technically advanced arsenal, resulting in a vicious and terrifying showdown between the two adversaries.
Prey was a lot more impressive than I thought it was going to be. Prey really brought back the thriller aspect to the entire franchise. While at its core it’s a monster movie, the fact there is a serious lack of technology in the film just makes it just so creeper at times. Director Dan Trachtenberg really brings everything back to basics with this film. Just hunters and prey.
The run time is about 1 hour 38 minutes, and it starts at a slow pace and then quickly speeds up. You don’t notice the time as the story is really engrossing. So easy to get caught in it. And there is not much gore. A lot of it is covered in shadows which really works.
Actress Amber Midthunder plays the lead Naru. I’m mainly familiar with Midthunder from her playing Kerry Loudermilk in the TV series Legion and I really enjoyed her there. As Naru, she is a Comanche warrior and a tribe where she is supposed to be a domestic female. She is such a breath of fresh air here. As a movie heroine, Naru is up there with other strong female characters like Ripley from the Alien franchise and Princess Leia from Star Wars. I loved how badass she was. This is a smart warrior who knows how to innovate the primitive weapons that are available in her time. Midthunder is just pure amazement on the screen.
Newcomer Dakota Beavers plays Naru’s brother Taabe. I loved how Beavers played this character. He’s a supported big brother in a time when you wouldn’t think there would be. Like every big brother, he is protective of her, but at the same time he realizes that Naru wants to be a warrior and doesn’t stand in her way.
I really loved the fact the cast were relatively unknowns for the most part. It really worked here. This cast really worked extremely well together.
The effects were impressive. It really looked a lot like the first Predator film. And since this film takes place in the 1700s, the Predator technology, while advanced, doesn’t have anything like the laser canon. What makes it work is the weapons are primitive by Predator standards.
The entire film just feels like a back-to-basics and it was really needed. I’m not sure how to proceed forward with the franchise. I don’t think it would be a good idea to have Predators visit different eras. This worked as a stand-alone event and just needs to stay that way.
Bottom line I really loved this film. It was exciting and just really thrilling. I highly recommend seeing it.
Prey premiers on Hulu on August 5th, and is rated R