My History with the Film:
My first exposure to Prey was the very neat teaser image that showed up online sometime in 2021. At first, I thought it was something fan made, but once I realized this was a real movie my excitement grew.
The Predator franchise has not been given the love it deserves over the years. The first film is a classic and the second film is underrated along with Predators. The Predator from a couple of years ago was a huge misstep despite handing it off to Shane Black, whom I expected better from. Alien vs Predator are fun action movies, but nothing quite touches the vibe of the first film. A predator hunting a Predator type of thing.
Well, I gave Prey a watch this past weekend and I’m happy to say this film brings Predator back to his roots and it’s all the better for it.
What the Film is About (Non-Spoiler):
A young Comanche girl becomes the prey of a Predator.
What I Liked About It:
-This is the closest thing to the original film thus far. It’s a simple story of a Predator hunting and it works incredibly well in the backdrop of the 1700’s.
-The action is brutal and almost video gamesque, but that’s a good thing. The Predator is terrifying, and he kills without remorse. I’m usually pretty anti-CGI but the kills were so fun and over-the-top it was pretty much a slasher film.
-The settings are beautiful. The rivers, mountains, and forests are untouched and make for an excellent game of hide and seek with the invisible Predator.
-The film never tries to be something that it’s not. It doesn’t try and to implement strange storylines or overcomplicate the relationship between the protagonist and her family/tribe, but instead, it’s a back-to-the-basics approach on kill or be killed and that is all this franchise needs.
-The cinematography deserves a mention because that’s not something I thought I’d be impressed with in a Predator film. There are some great sweeping landscapes and even some impressive shots of animals running made with CGI.
-The Predator stays invisible for a good portion of the film (as he should) but once he’s finally revealed the character design is terrifying. There is excellent use of armor and it’s a design that will stick with you.
What I Didn’t Like About It:
-Early on, you can tell the film utilized green screens or more probable, the LED wrap around screen technology as used in The Mandalorian. This makes for great settings in Star Wars, a little less in the real world of Prey. There is one scene in a tree where it almost feels like you are watching a 1950’s movie shot on a set with a painted backdrop.
-Real life animals made with CGI tend to struggle with realistic movements. There are a ton of CGI animals in this movie and while they weren’t all great looking, they did manage to provide a excellent piece of the plot and made for some great shots. It’s one of those situations where I wish they didn’t use CGI animals so the film looked better, but they couldn’t get the shots they did with real life ones so I end up shrugging it off.
-You can watch the entire film in Comanche on Hulu. It’s not as simple as going to the subtitles menu, but is actually under the audio. I had planned on watching it in Comanche but didn’t see the option on the subtitles menu and settled for English.
–::Spoilers:: The Feral Predator’s bio mask is made from the skull of a River Ghost from Predators (2010). ::End Spoilers::
–::Spoilers:: The engraving on the flintlock pistol reveals its the same gun that a Predator hands to police offiers Mike Harrigan in Predator 2 which took place in 1997. ::End Spoilers::
Prey was a delight. Refreshing, brutal, fun, and suspenseful, it was the Predator film I think everyone has been wanting since the original came out in 1987. The minimalistic film worked incredibly well and I’m hoping it’s successful on Hulu and that leads to more movies down the road. I’m now excited to see what Disney does with the Alien franchise.
I rate Prey a four out of five and say it’s worth a rental.