Prey (2022) review: A unique addition to the Predator franchise

Prey is a sci-fi action film that follows Naru, a young woman part of the Comanche tribe, who encounters the first ever alien Predator in 1719. The movie is now streaming on Hulu.

Story

Prey is equal parts an action thriller and about a young woman coming of age and defying traditional gender roles to carve her own path.

Naru is a skilled hunter and healer, and wishes to join the ranks of male warriors in her tribe. Her brother Taabe is the only one who supports the idea, and trains her with skills necessary for survival.

She goes on hunts with the rest of the tribe, and one day encounters a storm that marks the coming of the Predator, and also marks the beginning of her quest to hunt the creature down.

They soon come across the remains of various wild animals, and Naru and Taabe also run into a group of French fur trappers. 

Soon enough, the line between the binaries of predator and prey gets blurry as Naru tries to hunt down the creature too. 

The movie is an invigorating look into indigenous traditions, breaking down patriarchal norms and most importantly, it stands as an action-packed narrative that keeps the viewers hooked throughout.

The general structure and plot of Prey are similar to that of the rest of the franchise in terms of sci-fi and action scenes, but it also manages to add a unique dimension to the base plot.

Performances

The performances are realistic and engaging, and only add to the already mesmerising on-screen dynamics in the movie.

Amber Midthunder delivers one of the best performances in the franchise, and her acting allows for a smooth yet engaging progression of emotions and action. 

Dakota Beavers does a great job as Taabe too, and the sibling dynamics and the range of reactions the two portray together, add a sense of seriousness to the plot.

The rest of the actors, who play members of the tribe, and the fur trappers deliver a realistic portrayal as well, developing into characters that showcase their varying sides.

Positives

While the movie acts as a prelude to the Predator franchise, it functions beautifully as a stand-alone film as well, making it accessible to a larger audience.

The use of locations in the movie is commendable, as all the scenes are filmed in a forest without the scenery ever getting repetitive or confusing. The film truly makes full use of the chosen filming sets.

With stunning cinematography and background score, the film is a visual and auditory treat in every sense of the word. The shots flow together smoothly, and the duration of the film is ideal as well.

The narrative also subtly questions the positions of predator and prey, and brings forth the idea that humans are capable of a great amount of destruction too, through the characters of the fur trappers.

Negatives

The CGI at certain parts is choppy, and could have been done much better to create more realistic-looking scenes and animals.

Certain parts of the storyline also do not add up together, one being how Naru cannot defeat a bear but soon fights against the Predator and emerges victorious. While a bit bothersome, it still does tie in with the overall plot and ending.

Verdict

Prey holds its ground as a great movie that is not only immersive, but also action-packed and a lovely addition to the Predator franchise. It is a must-watch for everyone, as the plot works brilliantly as a stand-alone movie as well.

Rating: 3.5/5


Also Read: Prey (2022) ending explained: Does Naru win the first ever Predator fight?