Julian reviews: Prey

Hello Internet! I am back with another movie reviewPrey. This movie functions as a prequel to the Predator franchise (and, as it so happens, it’s Predator’s 35th anniversary). Boy oh boy, it is a really great movie. When I heard they are making a prequel to Predator, I got worried that they are now just milking this franchise down to the last drop of ridiculousness, just like every other popular franchise nowadays. Turns out that is not the case with this movie.

Set in the Northern Great Plains of 1719, the movie follows Naru (Amber Midthunder), a member of the Comanche Nation of Native Americans, who is trying to prove to her brother Taabe (Dakota Beevers) and the rest of the clan that she has what it takes to be a hunter. However, in addition to avoiding dangerous colonizers, she ends up hunting the biggest game ever in the form of an alien hunter that we the audience are familiar with at this point. Thus begins the Predator’s first hunt on Earth. 

Amber Midthunder as Naru
Amber Midthunder as Naru (Photo credit: 20th Century)

This movie is basically the first Predator movie, but it’s stripped way down to the bare essentials. With it having been set in the 1700s where technology is non-existent, save for the highly advanced alien predator, it does make for an interesting story. It is a straightforward, progressive plot about a woman conquering a lot of barriers in the form of the males in the tribe (who have different ideas about women hunting), the deadly wilderness, and the colonizers, who are racist towards Native Americans. 

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Amber Midthunder was freaking awesome in this movie. I think I would rank her as one of the strongest female leads in a sci-fi movie, alongside Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley in the Alien franchise. I am also happy with the fact that the representation of Native Americans is shown in its full glory, despite the film being on Hulu. Hopefully in the future, we will get to see them on the big screen. 

Amber Midthunder as Naru hunting the Predator (Dane DiLiegro), who is hunting her.
Amber Midthunder as Naru hunting the Predator (Dane DiLiegro), who is hunting her. (Photo credit: 20th Century)

Prey is a really great Predator movie that I would happily re-watch alongside the original 1987 movie, Predator 2 (my personal favorite of the series). Prey has also revitalized the franchise in a way other films in the franchise couldn’t. Nimrod Antal’s 2010 film Predators tried to introduce the concept of humans being abducted and dropped into the Predator’s home world, which is a big game preserve and had some success, but surprisingly did not garner enough attention for a sequel.

Instead of making a direct sequel to Predators, the former 20th Century Fox brought the franchise back to Earth in Shane Black’s 2018’s The Predator and made a movie about a group of ex-soldiers, a biologist, and an autistic child caught in between a Predator blood feud that could cause the extinction of the human race. 

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But Prey has re-energized the franchise proper with a prequel that lives up to the name and resonates what the first films were about: the thrill of the hunt between the two deadliest creatures in existence: man and alien.  

Naru (Amber Midthunder) jumps with a weapon in her hand to attack the Predator.
Naru (Amber Midthunder) jumps with a weapon in her hand to attack the Predator.

*Julian Jones is a University of Alabama at Birmingham graduate with a degree in Sociology and minor in Public Health. When he is not watching films, he is an Assistant to Ashley M Jones, Poet Laureate of the State of Alabama. Let him know what you thought of his review by leaving a comment below!

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By Julian