Directed by Dan Trachtenberg and written by Patrick Aison, Prey is the latest entry into a murky Predator franchise. This time though, as possibly a bid to not be confused with the franchises later entries, the action takes place in the Comanche Nation of 1719.
The film follows Naru (Amber Midthunder) a young Comanche female warrior who is looked down upon by the other male warriors due to the fact she is female. Her intelligence is far superior to her fellow warriors and her tracking skills are second to none despite the fact she travels everywhere with a dog that makes lots of noise. Naru is cut some slack by her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers) and she uses her skills to help find an injured tribe member.
As the film develops, we follow Naru and the Predator (Dane DiLiegro) simultaneously until their paths finally cross. This leads Naru to try and warn her fellow Comanche warriors who of course do not believe her and suffer the consequences of their actions. French fur trappers also choose not to listen to Naru, capture her and torture her brother. They get to meet the Predator too.
Midthunder as Naru more than carries the film, she is an action hero for a new generation. She is believable and, in both combat and in character. She can make the most out of what she is given, it is just a shame she was not given a bit more at times.
There are some nice Predator franchise nods throughout be it some key quotes or some referential moments that long-term fans will enjoy, especially right at the end. That one impressed me. Also, a huge shout out must go to Sarah Schachner for delivering such an atmospheric soundtrack that really helps capture the mood and tension of the movie.
Verdict: 7/10. An enjoyable movie that falls into the trap of “if they just listened to the girl all would have been ok.” Midthunder thrives in the role as does Beavers as her brother. Plotwise though there are about 6 bullet points holding the thing together (and a lot of signposting early on), all of which tick the expected cliché boxes you would expect. That said by being so stripped down it allows the action and story to flow more fluidly, almost as if it were in real time. This is still the best Predator movie in a long time and great fun to watch. The franchise is in good hands with Trachtenberg.