PREY Review


The idea of a Hollywood re-boot normally doesn’t sit too well with serious movie lovers. The reason for that is that often over the past few years cinema goers have been subjected to some pretty lame re-boots that pay little respect to the original source material that they are ‘borrowing’ from. There have been some though that have bucked the trend, Halloween comes to mind straight away, and now it seems that after 35 years of trying Hollywood has finally managed to create a film worthy to carry on the Predator legacy.

Prey, directed by Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane), is actually a prequel to the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger cult classic. It chronicles the events of what happens when the original Predator (Dane DiLiegro – American Horror Story) travels to Earth and finds himself in the Comanchie Nation three hundred years ago.

Here he finds himself coming face-to-face with a fearsome tribe of Comanchie who destroy all foes that stand in their way. Part of that tribe is a gifted young hunter named Naru (Amber Midthunder – Hell Or High Water) who is constantly being told by her male dominated tribe that she can’t become one of the tribe’s warriors because she is female.

As other tribe members, including Taabe (first time actor Dakota Beavers) and Wasape (Stormee Kipp – Sooyii), hunt what they believe is a mountain lion or very large bear Naru starts to realise what they are actually about to face is something much more deadly.

It seem a little strange to say but the reason that Prey ends up being such an enjoyable watch is the fact that it is such a simple film – especially when it comes to the plot. For once a Hollywood re-boot doesn’t try to introduce an over-the-top premise that in no way links to the original film nor does it try to re-invent the wheel and seemingly ignore the plots or stories that have already been seen in the franchise.

Instead Prey tells a riveting story that is basically human vs Predator with a little bit of world history thrown in for a good measure. When you realise that director Dan Trachtenberg also delivers some pretty decent action sequences, the right amount of suspense and a plot that makes some poignant comments on what it is like for a young woman living in a patriarchal society you are left with a film that seems to be a lot better than most will be expecting it to be.

In fact perhaps the most disappointing thing about Prey is the fact that a majority of the world will only see this film on a television screen. As someone who was lucky enough to see this in a cinema I can attest that Trachtenberg and his cinematographer, Jeff Cutter (Orphan), clearly made this film to be seen on the big screen. From shots that showcase the picturesque Comanchie Nation through to battle sequences taking place in atmospheric marshland mist this is a film that despite its content has an eerie beauty to it.

Prey also shows the acting ability of Amber Midthunder. It sadly is an urban myth that she was plucked from obscurity for this role, she has a fairly decent body of work behind her including the brilliant Hell Or High Water, but nonetheless she is brilliant in this film. She carries the film and excels no matter whether a scene demands physical action or emotional drama. It is very easy to see that from here on in she will be finding herself in much bigger film roles.

There may be some fans of the Predator franchise out there that are still wondering whether they will give Prey a chance or not. To put it simply they need to let go of any of those fears because Prey is the best film in the franchise since the original.

Prey is now available on Disney+.

4/5 Stars