"If it bleeds we can kill it" are the words uttered by Arnold Schwarzenegger's Dutch in the macho sci-fi action hit, Predator. It's a simple philosophy that sets up all out war against an alien lifeform picking off a military team one by one. Prey, a prequel set 300 years prior to anything else in the franchise, features the same iconic line that sets up the same precedent and, as the film strips away the machismo of earthquake inducing handshakes and muscly men firing their big guns into the jungle, becomes the best entry in the franchise for a long while.

In the Comanche Nation in 1719, a fierce and highly skilled warrior named Naru (Amber Midthunder) learns the prey she is stalking is a highly evolved alien with a technologically advanced arsenal.
There's a primal sense to Prey that provides Dan Trachtenberg with an exciting prospect to deliver something fresh and new for the franchise. In that sense, this is an adrenalin fuelled slice of sci-fi action that delivers unflinching set-pieces and gnarly kills aplenty as the Predator makes lightwork of both humans and animals throughout. It's a different kind of beast to Trachtenberg's previous film, 10 Cloverfield Lane, a paranoia-heavy thriller but he shows a keen eye for delivering intensity to some of the sequences as Naru faces all kinds of enemies on her journey of discovery. 

Sadly, Prey is a film that won't be experienced by many in a cinema, which feels like a crime against some of the visuals and sound design on display. Dropping straight to streaming is the easy option for the film to get more exposure but there's no denying that Prey would make for a thoroughly enjoyable cinematic experience. If you do get the chance do take it.

Amber Midthunder leads the film with a thunderous performance of bravery and ferocity that it takes to go toe-to-toe with a Predator. Committed to the physical side of the performance, Midthunder becomes an imposing presence on screen, wielding just a tomahawk instead of big machine guns at her disposal. 

It might be a while until we see another Predator film but in the meantime make the most of Prey, a prequel that takes its chance and runs with it successfully. The back to basics feel of it all really does work and it does a great job in making the Predator feel like a serious threat again.



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