PREY, the prequel movie to all prior Predator films, releases on Hulu this week, and I was lucky enough to check it out early! This review won’t contain any spoilers for the film, so you don’t need to worry about that!
PREY shows us the Predator’s first-time visiting Earth! It’s a very grounded story, placed in early 1700s North America. We follow a Comanche tribe who must already battle beasts such as mountain lions and bears, but how do they stand up against an alien hunter showing up on their land?
PREY is led by Amber Midthunder as Naru, who is a young Comanche girl who wants nothing more than to prove herself as a hunter, but her tribe and culture want to bring her down to the roles in their society that women are usually chosen to do. Amber is without a doubt the best part of this movie. She was a solid choice to lead this story and I think she did great with what she was given. Sadly, when it comes to talking positively about performances, my praises end with Amber.
The supporting cast is filled out by mostly young, male actors. Naru’s brother, played by Dakota Beavers is the biggest of these roles. He’s not the worst in the movie, and I think he does his best with what he’s given, but the script doesn’t help the situation much. The other young hunters of the tribe fill out the narrative to the theme being pushed in this story. Women being looked down upon for wanting to do a “man’s job” in the tribe. These actors all seem inexperienced. They are one of the reasons you remember that this is a made-for-TV film.
The Predator itself was fine. It’s mostly “invisible” in the first half of the movie, which helps on VFX costs and quality. When it isn’t invisible, it wears a helmet for 99% of its screentime. The helmet really takes away from the intensity of the design for me, and I wish it could have come off more often. When it does come off, the design of the Predator’s face actually looks really good! Super menacing and truly a scary alien. He had some really cool kills throughout, but I’m usually more of a story person over action, and the poor script and story of this one outweighs the cool kills.
Overall, PREY definitely feels like a made-for-TV Predator movie. It’s low budget, shot on location, with a script that needs work and actors that can’t save it. I think fans of the Predator franchise should check it out, but don’t expect this to be a brand-new revitalization of the franchise by any means. I think this idea of going back in time could have been great if the talent and budget was meant for a theatrical release.
'Prey' will stream exclusively as a Hulu Original on August 5, 2022.
Rating: 2 out of 5
Logan Wischmeier (Contributing Editor) is a Texas native and a massive fan of all genres of film. You can find him talking about movies on YouTube or in line for the latest Star Wars/Comic Book film.
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