Prey: Clever Predator Prequel

The word “prequel” often sends a shiver down our spines, conjuring images of desperate attempts to squeeze the last drops of life from a dying franchise or feeble reboots that rely solely on nostalgic references. However, Prey, directed by the talented Dan Trachtenberg, defies expectations, breaking free from the mold. This prequel to the Predator series not only remains true to the essence of the original but also stands firmly on its own as a captivating and stylishly violent film.

Transporting us 300 years back in time to the captivating land of the Comanche nation, Prey introduces us to the remarkable character of Naru, brought to life brilliantly by the talented Amber Midthunder. Naru is a warrior, honed through countless close combat encounters against the forces of patriarchy. But what sets Naru apart is her gender, which becomes her secret weapon. Underestimated and dismissed as a non-threat, Naru’s femininity empowers her and gives her unparalleled strength.

And let’s not forget Naru’s ingenious invention, an elasticated axe device that is both deadly and uniquely captivating. Imagine a murderous version of paddle ball, and you’ll begin to grasp the kind of weapon Naru wields. The brilliance of the filmmakers shines through their ability to create something so original and fitting for our awe-inspiring protagonist.

The backdrop of Prey is nothing short of breathtaking. With its majestic wolves, towering pines, and awe-inspiring sunsets, it feels like stepping into a scene straight out of a custom van mural. But don’t let the picturesque setting fool you, for it quickly transforms into a canvas splattered with blood and scattered with body parts as Naru faces off against roughneck European settlers. The juxtaposition of beauty and brutality adds an extra layer of tension to an already intense film.

What sets Prey apart from the countless prequels is its ability to stand on its own. While it certainly pays homage to the Predator series, it does not demand prior knowledge in order to be enjoyed. Of course, die-hard fans of the original will relish the nods and references, but newcomers can still dive headfirst into this exhilarating film without feeling lost. Dan Trachtenberg deserves credit for finding this delicate balance and pulling it off with such finesse.

Amber Midthunder’s portrayal of Naru is nothing short of extraordinary. Her performance embodies strength, determination, and an underlying rage that simmers just beneath the surface. It is truly refreshing to witness a female character in a genre film who breaks free from the shackles of the damsel in distress or one-dimensional love interest. Naru is a force to be reckoned with, and Midthunder’s portrayal sets her apart as an unforgettable standout.

Overall, Prey is a prequel that breathes new life into the Predator series. It captures the very essence of the original while offering a fresh perspective and an enthralling new protagonist. With its stylish violence, tense atmosphere, and exceptional performance by Amber Midthunder, Prey is an absolute must-watch for genre enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

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