Prey is a Hulu science fiction thriller directed by Dan Trachtenberg and written by Patrick Aison. It was produced by 20th Century Studios and serves as a prequel to the alien monster franchise that was kicked off by the 1987 film Predator.
In 1791, a young Commanche named Naru (Amber Midthunder) desires to become a hunter in her tribe to honor her father who has since passed away. Her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers) supports her, though he privately urgers her to continue her training in becoming a medicine woman under training from their mother Aruka (Michelle Thrush). After an encounter with a mountain lion, she spots a mysterious something in the woods. She tries to warn her tribe that something is out there, but they disregard it as a bear. Sure enough, she encounters a bear only for her to realize there is a Predator (Dane DiLiegro) in the woods and it is after blood.
The trailers for this movie were awful. They leaned into the woke “let’s end the patriarchy” so much, I was expecting non-stop lecturing and pandering to an audience who would not even watch the film, much less the original. To my surprise, the movie delves away from woke and goes back to the early 2000s politically correct “girl power” lecturing. That did make you roll your eyes at times. Especially considering the protagonist is a Commanche, the film does not touch on the culture of the tribe outside of their setting.
The legacy media critics are trying to say it is the greatest “Predator” film ever made. This is exaggerated. It is better than some of the other entries, but it is nowhere near the original one, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not even close, but it has earned a spot in the franchise.
I will say, Naru does come off as a brat at times. She whines and bemoans not being able to become a hunter. These moments were annoying. That being said, they do not put down her brother, a Commanche warrior, in order to lift her up. They show Taabe as a competent character who is an excellent fighter, hunter, and a skilled shot with the arrow. That was a sigh of relief as I found myself routing for the tag-team as they tried to battle the Predator.
From a story POV, I would have made a few changes. For instance, I would have made Naru more confident in her skills as a medicine woman. Have her show skills in tracking and weaponry, with her brother making note of it, only for her to deflect. However, once members of her tribe start being killed by the Predator, she has to step up and use those latent skills to fight it. I think that would have made the story better with her true skills highlighted.
As for the Predator, he was frightening. The filmmakers were smart to put a person in a suit. It made him see more real and, escalating the chills and shivers down your spine. His presence was truly scary and brought on the thrills as he hunts onscreen.
Bottom line, Prey was a nice surprise. While the trailers pandered, the movie did it on a minimal scale and actually provided a thrilling sequence of events. It is frightening and a lot of fun.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Extreme violence and gore
FAVORITE QUOTE: It won’t matter how sharp it is if you’re too afraid to use it.
Check out the trailer below:
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