Hey Everybody! It’s your Fanatic, George, here with my take on the 7th entry into the Predator franchise, “Prey” which is currently streaming only on HULU.
Prey is directed by Dan Trachtenburg, written by Dan and Patrick Aison. While some have considered this a prequel, I’m confident to call this a sequel, due to the number of references to the previous films.
Prey is definitely a stand alone film (provided you know what a Predator is) but having a familiarity with other films in the series just enriches your experience, which I will get into later on.
Here’s the basic plot according to IMDB: The origin story of The Predator in the world of the Comanche Nation 300 years ago, Naru, a skilled warrior, fights to protect her tribe against one of the first highly-evolved Predators to land on Earth. Amber Midthunder (FX’s Legion) plays Naru and it is absolutely a star-making role for her. Naru is a very inventive young woman and understands how to best use her skill, due to her smaller physical stature in comparison with the other male warriors. Her older brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers) is the Alpha hunter within the tribe, but is still understanding and somewhat supportive to his ambitious sister.
In the early 1700’s, women were certainly treated like second-class citizens and not allowed to participate in male dominated activities. The Comanche Nation were guilty of this as well, but Naru is determined to rise above the other braves and prove her acumen. A couple of examples are Naru’s almost telepathic relationship she has with her hunting dog Sarii (who also performs wonderfully) and the way Naru has a tether on her tomahawk for easy retraction and throwing quickly at another target.
The film is paced very well and doesn’t let you get bored too easily. Dane DiLiegro’s performance as this new Predator is excellent! It’s very rough and primal, not allowing for much strategy.
Since this is in humanity’s past, Prey also gives us a glimpse to where the Predators technology has evolved from. While we see the familiar red triangle laser pointer, in this film what’s on the other end is an advanced crossbow, not a plasma cannon. There are also some other weapons we’ve seen before: the net, spear, wrist blades and shield. Another interesting feature is the Predator’s mask. It is not a metal one, but made from the skull of a “River Ghost” (seen in 2010’s Predators) and has a much more rudimentary HUD.
Once things get rolling and we have our multiple confrontations with the monster, the kills are brutal and outstanding. Lots of gore for those fans, but a warning to those who may turn their heads.
When we get to the final confrontation between Naru and the Predator, Naru’s planning and skill pay off. Much like the character of Dutch in the original film, Naru is great at setting traps and using the alien’s technology against him. In the end, Naru proves herself to the rest of her tribe and has, perhaps, inspired future hunters.
I would recommend watching the end credits. While there isn’t a traditional post-credits scene, there is an animated sequence that tells the tale of our film and what could come next.
For the deep Predator fans, like I said earlier there is a lot of love for you all! While we don’t get to hear “Get to da choppa!” in this one, a couple of familiar lines pop up. The mask of the Predator points to 2010’s Predators and Naru’s prize and the end should be familiar to fans of Predator 2.
Prey is a unique and highly entertaining entry into this franchise and I highly recommend checking it out on Hulu while it’s available.
I also invite you all to watch it again in the Comanche dub (which the actors all came back to record) to really add to the authenticity of the experience. I am hopeful that Universal takes a cue from this and we can see more entries like this one.
For other glimpses into the world of The Predator I recommend you all check out the Dark Horse Comics releases from the late 80’s - early 90’s. Highlights are: Big Game, Cold War, Aliens vs Predator, Race War and Dark River.
Catch my video review below!