Staff Pick

by | Mar 24, 2021 | 0 comments

Prey (2022)

The Predator franchise has never been one for subtelty or the slow-burn. The original 1987 film proved to be enjoyable in its witty and gritty action, but its subsequent sequels and cross-overs have felt exploitative and very off the mark. It was therefore exciting to hear that the mind behind the gripping 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) was taking the Predator franchise in a new direction.

Prey (2022) takes place in the American Great Plains in 1719 and follows a Comanche girl named Naru (Amber Midthunder) who wants to be a hunter like her older brother, Taabe (Dakota Beavers), but is shunned away. When an alien Predator lands nearby, she attempts to seek it out and prove herself. 

Trachtenberg brings about a slow pace, reveling in his setting, and striving to explore Comanche culture and build his characters up through largely non-verbal actions. He is incredibly effective in this matter, though the change in pace and dosage of patience needed might turn off viewers who were expecting the action romp of previous Predator films.

Midthunder had already showcased her talent for sass and action in the brilliant FX series Legion (2017-2019), but in Prey she takes on a wholly different beast, having to deliver her performance largely without dialogue. She excels, as do the many other supporting actors, many of whom are Native American. 

Prey proves to be a prequel to the Predator films that far outstrips its predecessors in tact, quality, and a satisfying action-filled finale. Trachtenberg has worked his magic to revive a franchise, not by leaning into the toxic machismo that made it successful in the first place, but by taking it in the completely opposite direction. 

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