Hey everyone, Slick Dungeon, back to review another film. This time I watched the Predator series prequel simply called Prey. I will be giving a few mild spoilers below but nothing major. Still, if you are bothered by that sort of thing, watch the movie then read the review.
Prey is set in 1719 long before the first Predator movie happens. The good news is you definitely don’t need to have seen any of the other Predator films for this one to make sense. And, for my money, this is easily the best movie in that series. It stars Amber Midthunder in an excellent performance and all I can say is I hope we get to see more of her in action films in the future.
If you have seen Predator movies before, you’ll see a lot of what you would expect. There is a hunter with advanced technology hunting humans. The humans are far outmatched for a variety of reasons and the goal here is survival at best. This also has something most Predator films don’t. Character development is a central focus and they take the time to develop the story. While there is plenty of action, especially in the third act, this film feels way more threatening and a lot more thought out than the others by how understated it is. It takes time to build up some fear for the audience and allows us to care about characters before they are killed.
It’s also refreshing to see this happen in a time period where our modern weaponry is not yet developed. The central plot revolves around a woman named Naru who is a healer but wants to be a hunter. She’s underestimated as far as her hunting skills go but is generally accepted by her family and friends. When a lion attacks and one of the tribe’s hunters goes missing Naru joins to find the missing hunter and to kill the lion. Naru is pretty quick to pick up on the fact that there are more dangerous things than lions hunting the party.
I won’t go into too much more detail here but this absolutely ratchets up the tension in interesting ways. Like all of the Predator movies it gets bloody at times but there’s nothing more extreme than usual here.
With the unique time setting and welcome change in protagonists and the time given to develop a story, this shines as the best of the series. If you don’t really like action movies or hate all of the Predator movies this is probably not for you.
I didn’t think we needed a Predator prequel at all so I was really pleasantly surprised here. If you’ve watched the other Predator films and were kind of done with them like I was, this will breathe a bit of life back into the franchise for you. If you’re curious and you’ve never seen a Predator movie, my recommendation would be to watch this one and maybe the first Predator but stop there. This will be the best one on the list for sure.