“It knows how to hunt. But I know how to survive.”Naru
Despite the enduring success of Predator, the subsequent entries in the franchise have all underwhelmed. Prey succeeds by hewing close to what made the original work (with several direct callbacks) but transplanting it into another era entirely. A Comanche tribe in 1700s America is a surprisingly effective choice for a cat-and-mouse hunt across the Great Plains, simplified weaponry making every action count. The film is paced well with a slow start allowing for deeper characterisation, actor Amber Midthunder developing Naru’s ambition to be a warrior whilst her experienced brother shows concern over her recklessness in attempting to prove herself to the tribe. This sibling dynamic keeps the audience more engaged in the action-heavy latter half. Prey is the latest unfortunate casualty of the streaming wars, missing out on a theatrical release that would have suited its blend of action and natural beauty. Director Dan Trachtenberg is known for 10 Cloverfield Lane but his small screen contributions have flown under the radar — the excellent “Playtest” episode of Black Mirror and the pilot episode of The Boys. Prey solidifies his ability to provide a fresh perspective on existing pop culture.