‘Prey’ stalks its way onto Hulu, revitalizing ‘Predator’ franchise

Ryan Ranc, Life and Arts Reporter

Dan Trachtenberg’s “Prey,” released Aug. 5, sees the return of the Predator — this time in a prequel set 300 years ago in the Comanche Nation. Naru (Amber Midthunder), a female warrior, finds herself and her tribe in the laser sights of the powerful Predator.

Amber Midthunder’s Naru fights to prove herself as a good hunter. In addition to her advanced hunting skills, she also knows many medicinal practices that provide aid to her as well as other injured characters. Throughout the movie, Naru showcases her diverse skill set in the battles against the Predator. Naru even has an expertly trained dog that fights alongside her. Midthunder plays this leading role with an aura of confidence and a calculated personality. Naru ultimately stands out as the best character in the “Predator” franchise since Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch in the original 1987 film.

Each “Predator” movie contains a new Predator alien that faces off against the human protagonists, further expanding on the Predator species as a whole. The Predator in this prequel officially marks the oldest Predator in the series, set 300 years before its technologically developed successors. Despite its signature protruding fangs, this Predator has significantly less technology and gadgets compared to its predecessors, adding to the idea of “Prey” being a prequel. It also pushes the dichotomy between the Predator species and humans. Predators typically remain more advanced than humans but are also constantly evolving. In “Prey,” instead of the laser cannon Predators usually wield, this Predator has arrows that lock onto targets and fly towards whatever the Predator lays its sights on.

The two elements that make this “Predator” movie stand out compared to the other four sequels are Jeff Cutter’s excellent cinematography and Sarah Schachner’s carefully planned score. No matter where audiences pause, every frame offers a breathtaking sight. From wide shots of Naru on a tree limb facing off against a big cat, to overhead shots of landscapes, to close-ups of the slimy Predator as it roars, each visual will leave audiences gawking. The framing of shots portrays the vastness of the rolling plains while also conveying the tight space in which the characters hide and fight the Predator. Even with blatant CGI elements, everything blends well together, evidencing Cutter’s planned intention behind each shot. The film’s music works hand-in-hand alongside the cinematography, mixing a multitude of instruments together to create sounds and noises reflective of previous “Predator” movies and the wooded environment itself. At one point, the score even incorporates the clicking noises of the Predator. Each piece of music stands out and engages the audience in both suspenseful and beautiful scenes. The score feels incredibly grand, adding to the scale of this fantastic flick. 

“Prey,” the newest entry into a franchise that for the longest time was spiraling downward, stands out thanks to its story, actors, cinematography and music, providing a step in the right direction for an otherwise repetitive franchise. Audiences will thoroughly enjoy the return of the Predator, even if it’s only reserved for Hulu subscribers.


4 ½ splatters of glowing Predator blood out of 5