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‘Prey’ Movie Review

Comanche, Bro!

By Will LasleyPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 3 min read
Top Story - August 2022

Prey, which takes place a few hundred years before the events of Predator, follows a Comanche girl named Naru (Amber Midthunder) who is in constant competition with her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers). Both are incredibly skilled hunters, but of course, Naru isn’t given the same credit as her male peers. But when a Predator (Dane DiLiegro) lands in their territory, Naru is finally given the chance to show just how good of a hunter she is.

Predator (1987) is a bombastic, testosterone-fueled, macho 80’s classic. Since then, sequels and spin-offs have varied in quality, but none have been anywhere near the caliber of the original… until now! Prey is absolutely outstanding. The idea of beginning with a period piece and then adding a popular monster to it (in this case, a Predator) is being pretty much unanimously lauded by audiences, and many suggest that it should be the model for other supernatural film franchises in the future. If it works half as well as it did for Prey, I’m 100% onboard!

One thing about Prey that was especially cool was its treatment of Indigenous culture. Producer Jhane Myers, who has made a career as a Native American cultural consultant, reportedly gave the production teams multiple binders full of reference materials on Comanche culture, even down to period-accurate grooming. It’s also the first major film to receive an official dub in the Comanche language, which is just awesome. Much like last year’s Antlers, the celebration of Indigenous culture is really nice to see, and it never feels gimmicky or exploitative.

Amber Midthunder has been acting since she was a little kid, but this is her debut as a potential action hero. She’s suitably badass, but still feels real and shows plenty of personality, as well as vulnerability. While her character arc is not much different than most other “girl power” coming-of-age tales, the unique circumstances keep things interesting. This film is actually Dakota Beavers’ first acting credit, and this is a hell of a debut. While it’s primarily Midthunder’s film, he does provide a great counterpart, and he sells the more emotional moments between the two of them.

One of the hallmarks of the various Predator films is their blending of action, sci-fi, and horror in (somewhat) equal measure. Prey doesn’t water down any of these, although the alien technology isn’t quite as hi-tech and refined as it is in previous films, given that this takes place centuries prior. The action sequences in Prey are tight and well-choreographed, and with this being director Dan Trachtenberg’s most action-heavy picture to date, I look forward to him continuing to grow as a filmmaker. There’s also no shortage of gore here, which I always welcome. The effects all look great, and the gnarliest moments will certainly get a reaction out of you, whether you love gruesome or hate it. I also really liked this new Predator design, which is slightly less beefy and a bit more reptilian. It seems like a very natural evolutionary predecessor to the titular monster from the ‘87 film, as does its simpler hunting arsenal. One of the strongest aspects of the film, in my opinion, is the way in which it built up the anticipation of seeing said Predator in action. Much like in the first film, the creature is initially shown only in fleeting glimpses, as it is a master of stealth. The build-up is expertly done, and it keeps the viewer on edge throughout the first hour of the film. I only wish the movie had received a full theatrical release, because while it might not be on quite the grand scale of the first two Predator films, there’s enough spectacle to it to warrant the big-screen treatment.

Prey is the best Predator film since the character’s 1987 debut. It mixes tight action with creature feature splatter in an expertly-crafted period setting. The white-knuckle tension is matched by awesome practical and digital effects, and it sets up Amber Midthunder as a potential new action star.

SCORE: 5/5

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About the Creator

Will Lasley

I’m an actor and director of stage and screen. But I also dabble in standup, and on this site, horror movie criticism. I’m just a guy who loves horror movies, and I like to share that love with the world.

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Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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Comments (2)

  • Georgenes Medeiros2 years ago

    Awesome, I loved the text.

  • Maervel2 years ago

    I’m not a fan of horror but I enjoyed reading your piece on this movie. Thank you for writing!

Will LasleyWritten by Will Lasley

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