PREY delivers the best movie in the PREDATOR franchise since its 1987 inception. PREY Director Dan Trachtenberg‘s second feature film has brought new life to the franchise and with his vision—a fresh take on what it means to be the PREDATOR, or in this case, PREY.
PREY Movie Review
Whether you are new to the PREDATOR franchise or a fan since the late 1980s, PREY will not disappoint. PREY is everything you could ask for in a prequel story about the Predator and more, with its raw, bloody violent action balanced with back-to-the-roots survival skills of the Comanche Nation featured in the story. PREY Delivers its best movie since the inception of the PREDATOR franchise.
PREY delivers an unwonted story while paying respect to the original PREDATOR
In 1719 North America, PREY follows a young member of the Comanche Nation, Naru. Amber Midthunder portrays the young, fierce, and completely underestimated warrior Naru of the Comanche Nation. Naru wants to become a warrior and believes the only way she can do so is to complete her kühtaamia.
Raised in the shadow of some of the most legendary hunters who have roamed the Great Plains, including her older brother, Taabe (Dakota Beavers), the kühtaamia—a big hunt—is a rite of passage in their tribe, which will allow her to join the ranks of the other warriors in her tribe.
Naru is determined to protect her people at any cost when the tribe detects a new threat at its encampment border. Naru attacks a mountain lion, but what is revealed is a much greater threat, a predator that only Naru has been able to track. She sets off with her traditional Comanche weapons on the hunt for the Predator (Dane DiLiegro).
PREY is action-driven with brilliant visuals
PREY is heavily action-driven, told mainly through lean, brilliant visuals yet balanced with heart and emotion to level out the plot. Unlike the previous iterations of the franchise movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger-esque action is nowhere to be seen. It may be surprising that the heroine of the movie is just that—a heroine, not a hero.
What Naru doesn't know is that the prey she stalks (and ultimately confronts) is a highly evolved alien predator with a technically advanced arsenal, resulting in a vicious and terrifying showdown between the two.
The action is in a bloody banquet of hand-to-hand combat and of primitive weaponry, not through big CGI suits with lasers and explosions.
The natural landscape as its own predator is equally prominent in the film, from vast mountainside treks to tall grass, mud pits to crude temporary shelters. Having been able to screen PREY in the theatre was also helpful in pointing out the stark contrast between Midthunder's Naru and the wilderness in which she is hunting.
Bloody encounter after bloody encounter, Trachtenberg utilizes the vast wilderness and its natural wildlife to add suspense and tension through unadulterated surroundings and the raw, natural beauty of predators and their prey.
One of the elements making PREY stand out from the rest of the movies in the franchise is the epic, violent battle to the death between a highly likable protagonist and a mortal enemy in those unadulterated natural surroundings with minimal use of special effects.
Midthunder is a force in PREY
Those new to Amber Midthunder have been missing out on the treasure that is this formidable performer. Fans of Midthunder know that her ability to handle the physicality of the role of Naru was never in question, From Midthunder's roles such as Kelly Loudermilk in FX's “Legion,” to Rosa Ortecho in “Roswell, New Mexico,” and Tantoo in Ice Road, Midthunder has been delivering her all in every role.
Midthunder's Naru has a deep desire to protect her tribe, and that emotional element shows along with the bond she has with Taabe, even in her most feral on-screen moments.
Midthunder and newcomer Beavers have instinctual chemistry that will leave audiences rooting for the duo as they hunt and fight against DiLiegro's Predator.
PREY conveys an accurate representation of the Comanche Nation
Producer Jhane Myers is a pearl in an oyster for this film in highlighting Indigenous people in an accurate way. Myers, who was brought on to ensure the film's representation of the Comanche would be accurate, has ensured that the Comanche tribe's cultural aspects are interlaced in the narrative. The infused storytelling shines in detailing what makes the Comanche unique, including the use of the Comanche language that is woven heavily throughout the film.
Not only is the Comanche language woven through the film, but a Comanche-dubbed version of PREY will be available upon release—the first of its kind.
Having an Indigenous woman as the protagonist is a breathtaking refashioning of the action thriller genre, minimizing the dependence of white males in the leading roles, an irony that will also be recognized in the second act of the film.
PREDATOR Franchise Easter Eggs
There are many (no spoilers) but Director Dan Trachtenberg shared during our press day interviews that there are some definitely Easter eggs for fans of the PREDATOR franchise. One of those Easter eggs is the very specific way in which Taabe is cut.
More from Trachtenberg
While Trachtenberg delivered in this second feature film and first within the franchise, we can only hope to see the work of him and his team again working on another installment in the franchise soon to explore more of the Predator.
The newest entry in the PREDATOR franchise, 20th Century Studios’ PREY is an all-new action thriller set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago. It is the story of a young woman, Naru, a fierce and highly skilled warrior who has been raised in the shadow of some of the most legendary hunters who roam the Great Plains. So when danger threatens her camp, she sets out to protect her people. The prey she stalks, and ultimately confronts, turns out to be a highly evolved alien predator with a technically advanced arsenal, resulting in a vicious and terrifying showdown between the two adversaries.
PREY is directed by Dan Trachtenberg, written by Patrick Aison (“Jack Ryan,” “Treadstone”), and produced by John Davis (“Jungle Cruise,” “The Predator”), Jhane Myers (“Monsters of God”), and Marty Ewing (“It: Chapter Two”), with Lawrence Gordon (“Watchmen”), Ben Rosenblatt (“Snowpiercer”), James E. Thomas, John C. Thomas and Marc Toberoff (“Fantasy Island”) serving as executive producers. The filmmakers were committed to creating a film that provides an accurate portrayal of the Comanche and brings a level of authenticity that rings true to its Indigenous peoples. Myers, an acclaimed filmmaker, Sundance Fellow and member of the Comanche nation herself is known for her attention and dedication to films surrounding the Comanche and Blackfeet nations and her passion for honoring the legacies of the Native communities. As a result, the film features a cast comprised almost entirely of Native and First Nation’s talent, including Amber Midthunder (“The Ice Road,” “Roswell, New Mexico”), newcomer Dakota Beavers, Stormee Kipp (“Sooyii”), Michelle Thrush (“The Journey Home”), Julian Black Antelope (“Tribal”). The movie also stars Dane DiLiegro (“American Horror Stories”) as the Predator.
Rating: R for strong bloody violence.
Runtime: 99 minutes
Director: Dan Trachtenberg
Producers: John Davis, Jhane Myers, and Marty Ewing
Executive Producers: Lawrence Gordon, Ben Rosenblatt, James E. Thomas, John C. Thomas, and Marc Toberoff
Writer: Patrick Aison
Cast: Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Stormee Kipp, Michelle Thrush, Julian Black Antelope, Dane DiLiegro
PREY is steaming on HULU August 5th.