The Predator franchise is often overlooked in the horror monster genre, not receiving the recognition it deserves. Despite its ups and downs, including the original film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and a reboot in 2018, the franchise lacks consistency. However, director Dan Trachtenberg brings a fresh perspective by setting the film in the 18th century and exploring how people in that time period handle the advanced technology of the Predator.
Naru, a young Comanche woman, aspires to become a warrior by undertaking the “kühtaamia,” a challenging ritual where she hunts the one who hunts her. Despite being skilled in combat, many in her tribe doubt her readiness for the task. However, when a child is abducted from their village, Naru, her brother Taabe, and other young warriors seize the opportunity to prove themselves by rescuing the child. Coincidentally, on the same day as the kidnapping, a Predator arrives, leading to a chaotic clash between Naru and the alien creature.
Have you checked out the #PreyMovie on @hulu, if not, do watch it. It's an amazing film and @AmberMidthunder is phenomenal. This young woman has a bright career ahead of her. As @GovJVentura mentioned…welcome to the #Predator Family. "I see you." #Success #Blessings pic.twitter.com/mFxiVLYGAG— Bill Duke (@RealBillDuke) August 9, 2022
Prey shares some similarities with the film Apocalypto, but it distinguishes itself with its compelling storytelling and the exceptional performance of Amber Midthunder. While the movie does contain graphic deaths and a survival theme, it goes beyond the typical “kill or be killed” narrative. It explores deeper themes of coherence and emotional intelligence that are often overlooked in monster films. Throughout Naru’s journey, we witness her transformation on screen, and this evolution is not simply mentioned in passing but is given substantial focus.
Prey represents a bold and daring choice for 20th Century and Hulu. The director, Dan Trachtenberg, entrusts a relatively new face to lead the film, which is uncommon in the genre. It’s rare for women to take on the role of heroes in these types of stories, and women of color are often overlooked altogether. However, Prey breaks this pattern by featuring a primarily indigenous cast and centering the narrative around their lived experiences. Trachtenberg takes an unprecedented risk and achieves success with this approach. It is hoped that this film will establish a new standard for the genre as a whole.
Prey pays homage to previous Predator films and offers the expected excitement and intense kills, while also introducing a potential new action star in Amber Midthunder. The Predator is a creature that can fit into any time period and is known for testing the limits of human resilience, making it a compelling subject for further exploration. While a theatrical release would have been great, releasing the film on a streaming platform allows for easy accessibility and the convenience of watching from home.