Apparently, there is a whole bunch of lore surrounding The Predator that I wasn’t aware of. Much like Star Wars, the universe was expanded on with videogames (which I never played), books and comics (which I’ve never read), giving this whole background story of who the Predators are, where they come from and the different types of Predator because there are many.
It all feels a lot like fan fiction to me. The way I see it, if it isn’t in the movies, it isn’t canon. Even if it is, if Shane Black didn’t come up with it, then it’s something fans made up and is kind of bullshit. Much like the stuff made up about Star Wars seems like fan fiction bullshit.
You really think George Lucas sat there and thought up the complexities of Darth Vader’s suit and helmet? Fuck no, that was some nerdy fan who farted out all that bullshit.
I was a massive Predator fan growing up. So much so, I collected all the Predator toys and action figures. I even had the specialized one you needed to send in through the mail to get. The invisible Predator.
It was just a normal Predator action figure but was clear plastic. But to me it was bad ass!
I honestly don’t know what happened to all of them. Most likely I sold them at a garage sale, getting like 5 bucks for the whole set. I’d hate to look and see what they would be worth now. I’m hoping nothing because the thought of losing out on having a fortune that I gave away for a few bucks would be devastating.
We’re talking a Predator movie rated PG-13 kind of devastating.
But you don’t want to hear me talk about my action figures, you want to know about Prey, the new entry into the Predator franchise.
I’ll just spill the beans right now. It’s great.
There, review over.
I guess maybe I should talk this movie up a bit. Though I did have a few issues with the film. Really my biggest complaint was the design of the new Predator, which is called the Feral Predator.
The reason I brought up the lore of the Predators and their species is because I was so puzzled by the new design, I went on a deep dive, watching hours of dumb videos guys on YouTube have made talking about the types of Predators there are.
The first thing that seemed off about the Predator in Prey was the skin color. Usually, they have this greenish reptile skin, but here it was brown and muddy. The other thing that stood out was the size, as this Predator seemed smaller, thinner.
I think the Predators kept getting bulkier and bulkier as the movies went along. They looked flat out chunky beef boys in the Alien Vs Predator movies.
Another thing that stood out to me, was its face. The mandibles to be more exact. They didn’t seem to look right. They were too large for its head. Which by the way also looked unusual.
Overall, it looked less like a Predator and more like a Klingon. Worf? Is that you?
They did explain the new design. And by “They” I mean just the director since none of the movies ever bother explaining anything about these aliens.
So, this Predator is called a Feral Predator, imagined to possibly come from a different part of their home world.
That’s why his skin is brown and the face is different.
Okay, sure. I’m fine with that explanation, why the hell not. The core fundamentals are still there. This thing is out on a safari and people just happen to end up on the hunt list.
Cool, stick with that and we got ourselves a fun film.
Now let’s introduce the main protagonist of the film. It’s 1719 and Naru is a young Comanche girl who just wants to hunt like her older brother and not gather herbs like the rest of the women in her tribe.
Damn you patriarchy! Always trying to get the 1719 Comanche woman down.
I jest, I know for a fact this is something others will most likely end up writing whole essays on, but whatever. I will say a Predator movie trying to cram a message into it would be idiotic.
These movies have never really been more than just dumb fun action horror movies, this isn’t Night of the Living Dead where there needs to be some social commentary about today’s society- blah blah blah.
It isn’t completely hammering you over the head with it, but it is there, and it does feel unnecessary. But is also kind of funny seeing as Naru kind of sucks as a hunter.
I was expecting them to make her this bad ass, I ain’t need no man kind of Mary Sue character, but really, she just sucks at trying to hunt.
They make it clear her skills aren’t in the warrior department, but in the thinking department, as she is skilled in the art of medicine, tracking and battle planning.
The stabby stabby, not so much.
To not make her completely useless, they did give her a weapon that she can use to her advantage, mostly just by tying a string around her tomahawk so it will fly back to her.
It was a creative way to show she’s more skilled at thinking than her male counterparts. I guess if that’s how if you’re going to go about doing something like this, this is the way to do it. You could just go about it like Rey from Star Wars and automatically make her the best thing ever right out of the gate.
At least here they showed Naru has some weaknesses and showed her using her strengths to her benefit.
However, a tomahawk on a string does not seem very safe. One bad catch and you’re going to end up with a hatchet in the face.
Along for the ride is her dog Sarii which automatically struck fear in me since dogs in these types of movies don’t exactly last very long.
So, I was mostly anticipating this dog to bite the dust pretty early on. Thankfully, that never happens. I’m happy to report they didn’t kill the dog, but you could tell they really wanted to.
While training out in the woods to better herself with her tomahawk throwing, Naru witnesses the Predator ship entering earth’s orbit.
She perceives this as a sign to prove herself to her brother and tribe that she can be like one of the boys.
Her brother Taabe is a skilled hunter, leading a search party for a missing group that ran into a fierce mountain lion.
They quickly find the injured warrior, but Naru suspects that something else is out in the woods that they should be afraid of.
While treating the injured warrior’s wounds, she gives him medicine that lowers his body temperature. Hmm, I wonder if that’s going to come into play later.
Taabe and Naru stay behind and track the lion, only to get ambushed by it, causing Naru to biff it and knock herself out.
When she awakes, Taabe has returned to the village having killed the lion and is welcomed as a hero.
Angry, Naru leaves the next morning in search of the dangerous thing she thinks is still out in the woods.
Meanwhile, we get some hunting misadventures with our Predator, as he challenges a snake and a wolf. I guess he’s looking for a good enough challenge for him, going up the food chain.
Eventually he comes across a bear, but not before Naru angered it, causing it to chase after her.
The Predator inadvertently saves her by wrestling the bear, at times looking like he got his ass kicked. Eventually he comes out on top, lifts his trophy up over his head and bathes in its blood.
Naru runs off terrified of the invisible creature, who has now put his sights on her.
She runs into a search party sent by her brother to bring her back home, only to have them get slaughtered by the Predator and his advanced technology.
Instead of the typical shoulder cannon we are used to, his sights target on and fire steel arrows.
This is 300 years before the first film, so maybe the alien is a bit less advanced than we are used to. He still has plenty of tricks and gadgets up his sleeve, that he uses gleefully.
He has a staff that turns into a spear and mace, along with a shield and arm blades. He also whips out some other useful gadgets as well later on.
While Naru runs for her life, as she is completely useless when it came to helping her fellow tribesmen, she gets caught in an animal trap.
Not seeing her as much of a threat or a good hunt, the Predator leaves her be, only to get captured by French trappers a second later.
She is taken to their camp where they have her dog and brother. They want information about the Predator as it seems he paid them a visit, slaughtering a few of them.
Which the film never showed. I’m guessing it might have been cut from the film, as the runtime is unexpectedly short, only barely making it to 90 minutes.
But then again, I believe the original was pretty short as well. Now that I’ve checked, funny enough every Predator film has had the exact same runtime.
Also making a return to the Predator franchise is the pistol giving to Danny Glover at the end of Predator 2.
Apparently, there’s a whole comic series based around this damn gun. The plot seems kind of dumb, with a Predator teaming up with a pirate, but I do like that the film included it here.
The trappers plan to use Naru and her brother as bait to lure out the Predator so they can capture and kill him.
But of course, that doesn’t go as planned, getting every one of them slaughtered. It’s a fun little sequence where we can just sit back and watch in glee as these kind of terrible people get butchered in cool ways.
Once the Predator kills Naru’s brother Taabe, it stops being about trying to prove herself as a warrior and about getting revenge.
She notices that the Feral Predator’s helm is connected to the bolts he fires, wherever it aims, it shoots.
Her plan is to lead the Predator into an area that will get him stuck, like a patch of quicksand she found earlier in the film.
Once he’s stuck, I guess she just assumes he’ll forget how his own technology works and fire a bolt at her when the helm’s sights are set to him instead.
There was a fan made short film a few years back called Predator Dark Ages, where it was set well during the dark ages with knights and whatnot.
It’s actually a pretty great fan film that I highly recommend checking out. I knew that setting Predator during a different time period in the past could work, so I had high hopes for Prey.
Thankfully, they didn’t disappoint, knowing mostly what we want to see out of a Predator film.
I’m a pretty big fan of Predator 2, I know that one has been debated for years with just as many hating it as loving it.
If I had to place Prey considering all the other movies, as this is technically the 5th Predator movie, I’d say this is up there with 2 for me.
Nothing is really going to beat the first film, nor should they really try. The best way to really handle this franchise and premise is to mostly go back to basics.
I really hope this gets a physical release one day, so I can complete the set. I have the other three films, excluding The Predator, the lame 2018 one.
After HBOMax removed a bunch of their original movies, to never be seen again, I’m pretty worried Prey could end up like that one day, just vanish.
Prey is also one of the best-looking films out of the bunch, with tons of pretty vistas and hero shots of both Naru and the Feral Predator.
The story slightly drags at first, I guess mostly trying to introduce our characters. But remember, the first half of the original film was just these special ops army dudes taking out a bunch of drug operators in the forest.
It wasn’t much later into the film where the Predator even makes an appearance.
Prey is a pretty good entry into the franchise, hopefully a sign of things to come, as you know there’s going to be more down the line.
I give Prey a SEE IT.
If you have Hulu, it’s really worth your time to give this one a shot. And I hear overseas you can watch it on Disney+ which sounds hilarious.
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