The Reel Review
A Comanche girl living in America’s Great Plains in the year 1719 battles an alien predator from another world in this Western horror/sci-fi/thriller on Hulu. The action film is a prequel to the 35-year-old Predator franchise, returning to its original creature feature roots.
Director Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane) pulls out all the stops in this clever, well-constructed thriller, which features impressive production, a predominantly Native American cast and breathtaking cinematography from Jeff Cutter (Non-Stop, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Orphan). Trachtenberg’s story, co-written with Patrick Aison, is action-packed and includes nods to prior Predator films – most notably, the 1715 flintlock pistol engraved with the name Raphael Adolini at the end of 1990’s Predator 2 – while maintaining an impressive degree of historical accuracy and character development in its portrayal of the nomadic Comanche people.
Amber Midthunder (Roswell, New Mexico, The Ice Road) makes for a convincing, keenly observant badass Comanche warrior princess. Frustrated that none of the men of the tribe take her seriously, her Naru must single-handedly battle the alien Predator, as well as lions, bears, quicksand, traps and marauding French fur trappers intent on using her as Predator bait.
Prey showcases some relentlessly non-stop action sequences and some brutally clever Predator kills and mostly convincing animal CGI. The creativity of the origin story and nods to prior films will delight longtime fans of the more recently stagnant franchise, while introducing the alien monster to a new legion of fans and establishing a fantastic Amber Midthunder as a breakout star.
• Prey was filmed in and around the Stoney Nakoda First Nation near Calgary, Canada, as well as nearby Moose Mountain and Elbow River.
• Prey is also being released in the Comanche language.