Prey Predator Film

It’s no secret that since the original and beloved Predator hit cinemas back in 1987, the franchise has seen a steady decline in quality, with each subsequent entry somehow managing to be less palatable than the one before. Not even IP crossovers could save it (although I’m still holding out hope for an Archie Vs Predator adaption someday). It’s a series that had been in dire need of a shake-up for a long time, and that’s exactly what Prey is. It swaps the modern settings we’re used to, placing the action in the Comanche Nation in the early 1700s, doubles down on the horror elements that have always bubbled beneath the surface, and most importantly, gives us the best and most memorable protagonist yet.

Naru, played by a truly fantastic Amber Midthunder, is a character who has something to prove. She falls down but doesn’t accept defeat. She’s relatable, determined, and ultimately, a perfect match for her enemy. One wonders who the prey that the title refers to truly is in this scenario. As such, the narrative plays out as a genuinely tense cat-and-mouse game between two abled warriors, both on the hunt, both trying to survive, and it’s a joy to watch unfold.

Predator Review Prey

The first third is a bit of a slow burn, allowing the audience to acclimate to the setting and culture. It gives everything a chance to breathe and basks in some stunning vistas and beautiful cinematography. The vast majority of Prey was filmed on location in the Stoney Nakoda Nation in Canada. This gives the overall aesthetic a feeling of authenticity and wonder. The somewhat tepid pacing of the first third never gets boring and remains engaging until things really kick off.

The first encounter the predator has with the human characters marks the start of something special, and from here on, the pedal is to the floor until the credits roll. The action scenes are as thrilling as they are brutal. This predator in particular feels more dangerous and ruthless than before, making minced meat of its victims. The gore is impactful and the kills are creative. Some great sound editing ensures that even when the camera cuts away now and again, the violence is still felt in full. This is all complimented by the design of the predator. Its mask is more primitive than what we’ve seen in the past, meaning that even with all of its high-tech gadgets, the predator doesn’t feel out of place. Everything climaxes in a hugely entertaining finale that would make Dutch proud. There are moments where Prey apes the original a bit, but it’s all executed well, and never feels like it’s grasping at nostalgic straws like some of the later sequels have done.

Prey Predator

It’s clear that there is an abundance of positives exuded by Prey, a prequel that no one was chomping at the bit for, but a film that blows its predecessors out of the water. Dan Trachtenberg has proven that he can step into a franchise and give us something new before with 10 Cloverfield Lane, and this just cements that claim. Prey is a well realised, and well-put-together project that is arguably the best entry in the entire Predator franchise, and one can only hope that any future instalments are handled in the same way.

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