Image source: Hulu
Prey is Hollywood’s latest remake/reboot film and continues the story of the alien hunter that debuted in the late 1980s.
Rather than continue the mess left by the 2018 movie Predators, Prey director Dan Trachtenberg decided to start over and bring audiences back to one of the earliest Predator stories.
Warning: spoilers ahead
“A skilled Comanche warrior protects her tribe from a highly evolved alien predator that hunts humans for sport, fighting against wilderness, dangerous colonizers, and this dangerous creature to keep her people safe.”
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Prey introduces viewers to a time when machine guns didn’t become our first line of defense against alien threats.
In 1719, we meet Amber Midthunders Naru, a Comanche who yearns to prove herself as a warrior.
Naru sees the Predator’s arrival and believes it is a sign that she is ready to undergo the ritual to cement her status as a warrior.
When one of their hunters goes missing, Naru and her brother Taabe go in search of one of them.
While tracking down their tribe members, Naru is the only person to notice the unusual footprints and skinned rattlesnake – the remnants of the Predator’s hunt for a worthy opponent.
Naru helps Taabe track down the cougar who injured their hunter.
Naru weakens the wildcat before being knocked out in a fall after witnessing a burst of light from the forest.
Back in the village, Taabe takes the honor and title of the chieftain, leading Naru to hunt down the greatest threat to the tribe.
Accompanied by her dog Sarii, Naru comes across a field full of skinned bison.
On the journey, she is attacked by a grizzly bear who corners her in a beaver dam before witnessing the threat and brute strength of the Predator.
Naru narrowly escapes before encountering members of her tribe who have been sent to find her.
They take her by force before meeting the Predator, who efficiently reduces their number.
Again, Naru escaped before being captured by the French colonizers.
They use her and a captured Taabe as bait to lure the Predator, which quickly kills the French colonizers.
Naru returns to their camp and helps an injured Raphael Adolini, by giving him herbs that reduce his body heat, making him invisible to the Predator.
A step on his injured leg causes him to scream in pain, and he is killed, but Naru now knows how to get the upper hand against her enemy.
Taabe arrives on horseback to save his sister as he weakens the Predator.
However, the alien manages to kill Taabe. Naru takes Adolini’s rifle and escapes.
She later captures one of the French and uses him as bait for the Predator.
The Predator falls for it, and Naru uses the herb to sneak up behind it and shoot it in the head, disabling its helmet.
She drags the Predator into a swamp and uses its helmet’s projectile weapons against it.
The Predator dies from its wounds, and Naru decapitates the Predator before painting her face in its blood, taking its head and Adolini’s weapon with him.
Returning to the tribe, she is celebrated for her victory and becomes the new war chief.
Towards the end of the credits, a cave painting depicts three Predator ships emerging from the sky.
- Amber Midthunder as Naru
- Dakota Beavers as Taabe
- Dane DiLiegro in the role of the Predator
- Stormee Kipp as Wasape
- Bennett Taylor as Raphael Adolini
- Michelle Thrush as Aruka
- Julian Black Antelope as Chief Kehetu
One of the best sequels for the (small) screen, Prey combines modern technology with a nostalgic formula.
In a time when movies rely primarily on the green screen to tell a story, this Predator sequel takes viewers back to where the series began: in the wild.
The story works perfectly and shows the Predator before it became one of the deadliest hunters chasing Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny Glover and Adrien Brody in its game.
Although not as technologically advanced as previous films, the film’s Predator features everything that made it a sci-fi icon – the invisibility cloak, projectile weapons (replacing cannons with mini darts) and the retractable blade.
The Predator’s helmet is also different, using a skull-like design that fits the era perfectly.
Prey didn’t have to rely heavily on CGI effects for his monster (aside from the invisible cloak scenes) and kept it pretty much the same as in previous films.
Dane DiLiegro has done a spectacular job that truly honors the legacy of the late Kevin Peter Hall, the original Predator.
In addition to the significant details of the Predator look, the production team’s efforts to portray the Comanche tribe in the film deserve credit for its accurate clothing, village setting, and hunting lifestyle.
Also not to be missed is the performance of Amber Midthunder.
Midthunder may be a new name for many, but she’s been in Hollywood for over two decades.
While online critics would quickly point to Naru’s characterization as another “Mary Sue,” their sentiments seem to be based on the trailer alone.
Throughout the film, Midthunder’s Naru showed intelligence in understanding the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses (noting the use of its shield and vision).
Rather than being “the last girl,” she displays the same spirit as beloved characters like Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley and Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor.
Despite the short run time, director Dan Trachtenberg managed his time wisely by enriching the backstory of Amber Midthunder’s character and the Predator before their eventual confrontation.
Trachtenberg has found the right balance to give viewers enough story to root for Naru as he built the Predator’s revelation, a task that usually ends with sloppy execution.
Prey also did well in attracting mainstream and Comanche audiences by shooting the film in both English and Comanche.
Overall, Prey managed to hit all the right notes.
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Links to previous movies
Prey offers something new and familiar, which is why he receives positive words from all over the world.
Here we look at what connects Prey to other Predator standalone films.
The father of the franchise, Predator is famous for its story, which pits a group of seasoned veterans against an unknown enemy.
Predator and Prey share the same natural environment, so fans were excited to see how the final product would turn out, especially as Naru was without the weapons Schwarzenegger had at his disposal.
However, people tend to forget that even Schwarzenegger’s character gave up bullets to use his wits to take on the Predator – the same way Midthunder’s Naru finished off her enemy.
Dakota Beavers Taabe also repeats the iconic line, “If it bleeds, we can kill it.”
Predator 2 (1990)
The often overlooked sequel, Predator 2 is the movie that ties directly into Prey as the former Predator throws the same gun at Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover) that Naru took.
The gun might hint that a sequel might be underway, and the reception only reinforces that sentiment.
The 2010 action movie was the first to feature the different types of predators.
Prey continues this trend by wearing a Predator design initially used for the 1987 film and later used in the 2010 sequel.
It is possible that the helmet used here came from the same creature that attacked Adrien Brody in the film.
The Predator (2018)
Prey’s predecessor is the only film unrelated to it.