Title – Prey (2022)
Director – Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane)
Cast – Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Dane DiLiegro
Plot – Set over 300 years ago in the heart of the Comanche Nation of America, young hunter Naru (Midthunder) finds herself in a battle of life and death against a deadly visitor that has landed on Earth with the intent to hunt the most worthy prey it can find.
“It knows how to hunt. But I know how to survive”
Review by Eddie on 10/08/2022
Since the beginning of the 2000’s, time has not been kind to the Predator name brand.
A period of time that features the schlock that is the Alien vs Predator’s spin offs, the fun if forgettable Predators from 2010 and the disastrously bad 2018 effort The Predator, it appeared long destined that the once highly regarded action/sci-fi hybrid property was doomed to a lifetime of disappointment and failures that came in the wake of the original 1987 classic.
With such memories in peoples minds, there was significant reason to doubt once more when Prey was announced to the world, only heightened when the news broke that director Dan Trachtenberg’s film was being shifted from cinemas to a direct to streaming release via Hulu/Disney+ but against all the odds, Prey showcases that there is life yet left in the Predator universe with a fast-paced, inventive and deliriously bloodthirsty ride that shuns the usual direct to streaming failings to deliver a top-notch thriller that is going to please long-standing fans and newbies alike.
For only his second feature film, following in the wake of the equally surprising hit that was 10 Cloverfield Lane, Trachtenberg transports the Predator action way back to the Comanche Nation of 300 years ago where the young Comanche warrior Naru finds herself going head to head with a young dreadlocked alien that has arrived on Earth to test his hunting skills against the best we humans can throw at him.
In what’s sure to be a career making turn from Amber Midthunder as Naru, who leads a cast almost entirely consisting of Native American actors, Trachtenberg and his lead actress lead viewers on an often intense and rollicking thrill ride that leads to come of the most impressive set-pieces yet seen in a Predator movie as Naru and her alien foe battle it out across the picturesque surrounds of the American wilds with a battle including a bear and a segment taking place on a barren battlefield some of the most intense sequences you’re likely to witness in a film this year.
Proving that 10 Cloverfield Lane was no fluke, Trachtenberg feels like a budding master of suspense and atmosphere, even with budget limitations that may be present and one can’t help but be excited by what lays ahead for the talented filmmaker as he begins to unlock the true potential of his skill set that seems tailored made for mass audience consumption that isn’t just cookie cutter CGI summer blockbuster candy.
With so many impressive elements and so many more thrills than you would expect from what has become synonymous with the Predator brand, Prey still does have a few missteps that hold it back from being able to compete with its beloved forefather with some poorly refined and distracting CGI segments moments that spring to mind while a slightly repetitive plot does start to lose steam in the latter half, coinciding with a script that that could’ve done a little more outside of creating a genuinely likeable and well-rounded main protagonist.
At days end in the grand scheme of things Prey is an against the odds success, a small film with big ideas and ambitions and a revival of the Predator brand that appeared for all intents and purposes to be a shunned cousin to its big profile companions that has quickly and surely made a case for being the best Predator movie since the original masterpiece.
Final Say –
With a fantastic lead turn from the sure to be a star Amber Midthunder and some brilliantly staged direction and action set-ups from director Dan Trachtenberg, Prey is a confident and thrilling piece of mindless entertainment that showcases there is life yet in a property that was close to being put to bed for good.
3 1/2 snake skins out of 5