The Predator franchise is reborn with an exciting prequel starring Amber Midthunder. Read on for a spoiler-free review of the movie PREY, streaming on Hulu on August 5, 2022!
Screener provided by 20th Century Studios. All thoughts and opinions are of the author.
PREY is set in the Northern Great Plains in the early 1700s when the Comanche tribe is still fairly unmolested on their land. Their peaceful existence is being encroached on by French fur trappers and by an alien being known as the Predator. A young Comanche woman named Naru (Amber Midthunder) is determined to go on her first official hunt or kuhtaahmia, and crosses paths with the Predator.
Armed with her tomahawk and a trusty dog named Sarii, Naru deals with the disappointment of her mother and brother when she expresses her desire to hunt rather than do the gathering with the other women in the tribe.
Naru and the Predator stalk each other before coming to a final showdown where all of Naru’s training and hunting skills are tested against an alien with superior skills and weapons.
It’s easy to try to dismiss PREY as some mindless action flick but it’s so much more than that because it has two things going for it, a stellar cast and gorgeous cinematography. Amber Midthunder as Naru is easily the best part of this movie. She is lithe in the action scenes, and her eyes reflect both curiosity and fear at the same time. We saw just a bit of Midthunder’s talent on the FX show Legion, but PREY gives her more room to refine her acting skills and up close fighting scenes.
Dakota Beavers (Taabe) is another excellent addition to the cast who adds authenticity to the fight scenes and quiet scenes where the Comanche as collaborating with each other to provide food to the community.
Filmed mostly in Alberta Canada, PREY employs the massive trees, rivers, and rock formations that are utilized in the cat and mouse game between the Predator and the humans. A few scenes are much too dark, especially a key scene between Naru and a mountain lion, but overall most of the action scenes are shot in well-lighted outdoor spaces.
The movie PREY takes the time to get some of the historical details of the Comanche right. Women were the gatherers, bringing their babies on their harvesting trips along in cradleboards. Naru paints her face black which is a symbol of war. The family celebrates after an animal kill by Taabe, by dancing and honoring his contribution to the community.
PREY will make both new and old fans of the Predator series very happy with its beauty, action, and parallels to the older films.