Understandably, Predator fans might be a little nervous about prequel Prey.
Producing a decent prequel after so many films (not all of which were super well received) was never going to be easy, but Dan Trachtenberg’s done it in style.
The new instalment is set 300 years before the events of the Predator franchise, in the Comanche Nation in 1719.
It follows Naru (Amber Midthunder), a warrior who learns that the prey she’s hunting is a highly evolved alien.
Amber absolutely shines in Prey. She’s not quite a newcomer, having starred in various series, but she’s about to get a whole new legion of fans – and rightfully so.
While the film also stars Dakota Beavers (Taabe) and Harlan Blayne Kytwayhat (Itsee), we spend so much time with Naru – and largely just Naru – that Amber’s performance could make or break the film, and she absolutely smashes it, armed mostly with just a bow and arrow, a dog, and a stripped-back script.
Prey is, of course, unlike any other Predator film we’ve seen before, and it could be just what the franchise needs – it’s simple, led very much by Naru and her mission to capture a beast unlike any other to save her civilisation.
Meanwhile, there are many who don’t even believe such a beast exists.
We get a very different Predator too, which is brought to life by Dane DiLiegro. Without spoiling anything, director Trachtenberg’s teases he’s ‘changed it more than it’s ever been changed’ – and there are a few surprises in there for die-hard fans.
It’s definitely not perfect – the simplicity that works so well at some points causes a pretty slow pace in others, especially towards the beginning.
But it gets there soon enough, with plenty of moments that will have viewers holding their breath, the gore fans have come to expect from Predator, and a protagonist that lives up to the original film.
Prey hits cinemas on August 5, 2022.