Prey Inverts the Predator Formula

A return to form after a decade, Prey remembers what the Predator movies are about

Easily the best Predator movie since the original, and most interesting since 2010's Predators
Great acting and action
One of the coolest designs for the Predator
Really cool reference to Predator 2
Starts a little slow, though it pays off
The excessive number of characters at the beginning feel a little unnecessary

The Predator franchise has been… uneven, to say the least. While the original 1987 flick is almost universally beloved–and considered the best in the series–all of its sequels have been largely divisive at best. Even the now-appreciated Predator 2 was largely maligned during its release and took some time to gain a cult following who appreciated it for what it was.

And that cult following seems to have finally paid off… though you’d have to watch Prey to truly understand how.

Retaining the general mythology of members of the Predator race (the Yautja) hunting as a right of passage, Prey takes the familiar context to the Comanche Nation in 1717. There, it faces anything it considers to be a predator, asserting itself greater by hunting those that hunt.

Prey unabashedly returns to Predator roots, drawing inspiration from the original film by bringing the setting down to a singular location wherein the hunt is the focus. Very little is done in the way of dialogue or peripheral characters with almost all focus kept on the lead Naru, played by Amber Midthunder, and Naru’s brother Taabe, played by Dakota Beavers.


What begins as a rather slow-paced opening pays off in the later acts when the narrative shifts to the human characters witnessing the actions of the Predator. Prey remembers that, at the base of it all, the Predator movies are more than just mindless action (though those are great, too).

There is a strong emphasis on the mystery surrounding the character, introducing its high-tech gadgets not as cool accessories but somewhat baffling abilities which inspire fear and confusion.

Prey Review Amber Midthunder as Naru

With little dialogue and much waiting, Prey’s strength as a narrative lies almost entirely on the performance of Amber Midthunder.

While it is somewhat jarring to have a movie so immersed in its period and location be entirely in English (for the audience’s sake, of course), Midthunder’s acting allows for a stronger investment in the character–arguably becoming the first protagonist Predator fans can root for since Predator 2’s Mike Harrigan played by Danny Glover.

Prey Review Featured

Despite its highly satisfying third act, and incredible action sequences, Prey does suffer from a bout of uneven pacing. Audiences new to the Predator franchise may be less impressed with the throwbacks that the movie skillfully uses, and older fans may be less patient in their wait for the franchise’s iconic creature to properly appear.

Nevertheless, Prey is hands down the best Predator film since the original and is an especially refreshing take on the format given that it was developed around the same time as the far less interesting The Predator.

While it remains to be seen if Prey is the franchise revival fans want, it is definitely the one we deserve. Prey is out now on Disney+.