Genre: Action thriller
Premiere: August 5, 2022
Starring: Amber Midthunder, Dane DiLiegro, Dakota Beavers and more
Director: Dan Trachtenberg
Running time: 1 hour and 39 minutes
Age limit: 15 years
Rating: + + + +
The “Predator” series is a collection of lovable (if uneven) reels that always manage to be entertaining. The concept of the alien hunters who love to collect human spines as trophies has been complicated to unnecessary levels. Like when a group of elite soldiers gathered on an alien planet for hunting in an enclosure in “Predators” (2010). Sometimes the tone has switched from horror to splatter comedy, as in the revival “The Predator” (2018).
“Prequel” variant “Prey” on Disney+ goes back to the ambitions of the original 1987 film, using the stripped-down struggle of man against nature to create a horror-filled atmosphere. “10 Cloverfield Lane” director Dan Trachtenberg has put together the scariest setup yet, using a clever trick by moving the action to the early 18th century in what would become the United States.
At the center of the plot is the young hunter girl Naru from the Comanche tribe. She tries to find a suitable animal to kill in order to be considered worthy by the rest of the tribe. But after a bloody encounter with a female cougar, she ends up at the bottom of the pecking order again, constantly assisted by her brother.
But soon the Predator appears on his very first hunting safari on Earth. Naru witnesses how it kicks the crap out of a cougar, before she herself has to fight against the almost invincible creature with primitive weapons like bow and axe. The Predator is bigger and more fearsome than in any other film, but what Naru lacks in firepower is eventually made up for with innovation and guile.
Amber Midthunder (who herself hails from the Comanche tribe) is exemplary in the lead role, lending a much-needed vulnerability to the franchise that has been relatively marinated in testosterone since Arnold Schwarzenegger played the predator’s intended prey in the 80s. “Prey” is more like a real kick of adrenaline.