PREY (DISNEY+) (2022)
SYNOPSIS: The origin story of the Predator in the world of the Comanche Nation 300 years ago. Naru, a skilled female warrior, fights to protect her tribe against one of the first highly-evolved Predators to land on Earth.
Aside from the original 1987 Predator, none of its subsequent sequel and reboots received much love from both critics and fans including the two horrible Alien Vs Predator crossover instalments.
Fortunately for the prequel, Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane) who obviously knows how to juggle storytelling and suspense on a tight budget was hired to oversee the project. For that, we are pleased to announce that Fox finally has a winner in its hands after more than three long decades since the release of the original.
Set in 1719, Naru (Amber Midthunder) is a young Comanche woman who dreams of following in the footsteps of her late father and brother, Taabe (Dakota Beavers) to become a great hunter. Despite her mother’s wish of her to be a healer instead, Naru continues to hone her skills as a hunter together with her dog, Sarii.
Not long after, Naru witnesses the appearance of a ship and the subsequent killings from a mysterious, advanced creature. When members of her tribe are brutally killed by this lone ugly creature, Naru realizes it’s time to prove her worth opposite her challenger from outer space.
In ought to be a lazy yet clever twist, much of the action took place in secluded forested locations and one that focused solely on the protagonist. Prey in other words is almost similar to Predator in terms of story treatment even though the former is set 300 years prior. Thus, rather than Arnold Schwarzenegger crafting some makeshift booby traps, we have Amber Midthunder battling it out with the creature.
The flick also has a deep National Geographic feel to it given the lush cinematography of the vast landscapes and plenty of believable CG rendered animals liked wolf, bear and a mountain lion. Even the nature of the Comanche tribe is richly portrayed onscreen.
Still, if you are here for the bloodshed, Trachtenber and his team doesn’t disappoint with the action setups and violence especially midway into the movie in which the bodies start to pile up with the introduction of a group of shady French explorers. With the original effects company, ADI being hired to work on the creature, expect some gruesome practical makeup and brilliant use of props as well. There’s in addition a decent mix of Comanche and French language which is not subtitled although it’s less of a distraction and more of a slice of authenticity to the movie.
Forget about Predators (2010) and The Predator (2018), Prey is definitely the kind of prequel a studio needs to energize a flagging franchise. Even with a straightforward narrative, the essence of Predator is fully captured in the chaotic battle between the hunter and the hunted.
Review by Linus Tee