The latest film in the Predator franchise, Prey quietly leap frogs to the top when it comes to rankings. Dan Trachtenberg, the director of 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Boys and now Prey, quietly put out one of the greatest Predator movies in the franchises history. That is not a overreaction. What Trachtenberg and his crew pulled off is some of the most action packed, story driven 90 minutes ever in the Predator film series. Amber Midthunder, (Naru) is a huge reason that Prey is such a creative success.
The film begins with Naru’s journey on figuring out how she fits in the new world, which takes place in the Great Plains during 1719. Like many stories that have been told, Naru can be relatable to almost anybody in the sense that she wants to prove that she is more intelligent than what her peers view her as. In this case, Naru specializes in medicine as a healer but wants to be out hunting and surviving like the rest of the tribe. With the nation predominantly being males, they laugh at the thought of Naru surviving in the wild without their help, and primarily view Naru no more than the sister of Taabe (Danny Beavers) an upcomer in the Comanche nation.
Naru is the first from the tribe to find out about something more threatening than a lion, bear or wolf when she comes across something in the sky literally from out of this world, Predators invisible space craft. The super advanced alien hunter is barely featured in the first 30-35 mins of the film, but the bread crumbs and footprints that he leaves behind is strong enough to give the viewers chills at home. Naru knows right away that this isn’t an animal that they’re dealing with, but doesn’t quite have the answer to what it could be either.
What should be appreciated about Prey is that every character from Sumu, Chief Kehutu all the way to Sarii, Naru’s hunting dog, all helped move the story in a impactful way. With already a small cast, not one character or animal felt misused. Prey could’ve easily been a series to dig deeper into Naru’s relationship with the nation, her brother and how she evolves into a better hunter. If there’s any kind of message being sent out, it’s that there’s no time to waste. Instead, Naru has to find ways to quickly adapt to every threat that was being thrown at her and the tribe. You get the feeling right away that not one Native American would be able to take down the Predator. Not because they weren’t properly equipped, but because Predator is far more technologically advanced in his arsenal.
Even with the introduction of the European settlers, there would be no joined forces as Predator slashed through almost all the intruders on the American frontier. In the same way that the tribe fought back against the Predator, the settlers don’t go down as easy either leaving several bullet hole wounds in the alien with the use of firearms. Unlike the original Predator film, Naru and her cast isn’t necessarily the machismo type that Dutch, Billy and Dillon provided, but the Comanche nation still evens out the playing field in which even Predator finds himself pressed up against a fence at times. in this must-see modern Sci-Fi classic.
Dane DiLiegro’s performance as Predator was extraordinary to say the least. The suit fit him well. DiLiegro ran, jumped and fought well as the Predator, which allowed him to put on one of the scariest performances to date. Predator has been seen as a hero, villain and anti-hero in the past and in Prey, I feel like villain and anti-hero could be up for debate. Predator starts off in this world targeting beasts like wolves and bears by using his infrared vision to determine where the threat lies. However, just how history has taught us, the Native Americans weren’t only being hunted by Predator, they also had French trappers/European settlers to worry about in this horror theme of colonialism.