Prey - Disney+ - 2022

ctg

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Set in the comance Nation 300 years ago, Prey is the story of Naru, a fierce and highly skilled warrior, raised in the shadows of legendary hunters. When danger threatens her camp, Naru sets to protect her people. The prey she stalks: a highly evolved alien predator.

Note, this movie is dubbed in Comanche, and it is the first film premiering in a Native language, alongside the English version. Although that setting might be a difficult one to find as Disney+ is still far behind Netflix style user controls.
 

ctg

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I've waited for this movie to come out for a long time. I also understand that it was in the development hell equally long time, and at one point it almost became a series. What is also notable is that all major critics has been singing praises for this film, as the next best one after the original. Let's see if we agree... but one thing I have to say the synopsis in the original post could have been one of their shorter one, only saying, "A young native hunter meets a prey that's too thought for her to handle, without her ever realizing it is not from this world," or something along that line.

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I loved seeing the Native lands in their native glory as the nature intended, with no machines, buildings or vapour trails criss-crossing on the sky. Their village and people immediately felt real, but Naru started striking different from the moment she took a tomahawk in her hand. She very capable of handling the tools on her nation, and I like it just like I liked that the film turned scifi 3 minutes into the runtime, with the sound of something hurling through the atmosphere.

She doesn't think about it. Doesn't react to it other than it making her curious about the whole thing. Then again, the Native people folk lore in full of stories of the sky people coming to visit. Only she believes it's a thunderbird, and not aliens.

You almost want to scream at her to be careful as the tension starts to build up with our foreknowledge about how deadly predators can be. And she's armed with weapons that are clearly outmatched with tool from the Predator arsenal. As Naru voices her wish to commit to the rites of kuhtaamia, her brother asks, "You wanna hunt something that's hunting you?"

Naru didn't answer. She just smiled as if she was lured by the nature of the game, even though the challenge has been announced to be most likely deadly. It is part of her being a warrior and not one of normal ladies. Even her mother notices it, and she says, "My girl, you are good at so many other things. Why do you want to hunt?"

"Because you all think that I can't."

There is no argument there, not from the mother and certainly not from the audience, as she hasn't proved herself. But we all know that's coming, and the challenge is bigger than she has ever anticipated.

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The predator comes into the play very early, at around 14 minute mark, where he shows being able to remain calm and composed even though the Comanche hunters are standing literarily next to it. Meaning that his adaptive camouflage cloak is even better than what we saw in the original film.

I love seeing his PoV and how fearless he is for knowing that he's on top of the food chain and there's really nothing that can harm him in the Native America. You can feel him observing Comanche's surviving in the nature. It is almost as if he's judging who is the top mark, who's easy prey?

We don't really know what makes them to tick, but we do know that they are the top dogs in the galaxy as they too hunt the deadliest alien known in the SF film history. And liked that the boys weren't listening when Naru was speaking about the nature of premonitions. Predator hunts in the Cameron's Alien at Earth are rare and far in between, but we know they've happened, and they've taken the best survivors with them on a journey. And most often as a prey.

But this one waited patiently, like a proper hunter, for the Native's to show who's the champion. We know it's Naru, even though it's his brother who brings back the mountain lion, and her head.

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I wonder if the act of taking trophies is the trigger that makes the Predators to choose their prey, but it certainly felt that way. Although the whole trip accepts the great hunter in Naru's brother, it's her that's doubting the whole thing, without ever voicing aliens.

Some people have unparallel intuition as their blessing, while a whole lot of simple don't. We never practice it, and Naru's brother certainly don't see it in the girl, but it's there. In the fabric of her nature as her gift and blessing. It is what makes her to hunt the hunter. To understand the danger that the whole tribe faces. The patient hunter who only seemed to off only those who try to hurt him.

It is also intriguing to see that those too ends up as predator's trophies, not making them psycho's but actually as calculating hunters, with a shared obsession for taking trophies from their hunts.

When Naru comes across the plain full of slaughtered buffaloes, it's easy to place the blame on the predator and not on the white man. But the similarity is there to the obsession of the predator's. Only thing is that the predator doesn't waste meat. It only takes what it needs. White man, what it can. So, it is not a big thing that the predator goes after the trophy hunter as if he's been challenged by the act, while Naru sees him as a threat.

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It is around the halfway mark, where we meet the scarred bear that showed in the trailer. But we never saw it actually having a fight the cloaked predator. The bear gave zero sh1ts about the cloak as he went in with all his fury and won the first round, fair and square. It's just he didn't finish the match as there is no double tapping in the bear's tool kit, when mauling the opponent usually does the business.

Second round, 350 kilos of bear on his face, taking count from a smack on his face. When Naru sees him showing his power by lifting the bear above his head and drenching himself in blood, she understands that the danger they're facing ain't nothing ordinary. She calls it mupitsl, a monster from the native tales.

The predator changes his nature when the native boys capture Naru, under the brother's order to more towards the protector than a hunter. It is as if the kidnapping doesn't sit well with him. So out comes the plasma caster and predator tools, taking the game immediately to a level that the Comanche warriors cannot match.

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This show of power, a shock and awe tactics made me giggle. Yet, even though he could have used his tools to make easy kills, it was the challenge of a fight that he wanted. But that doesn't sit well with Naru as sees her tribesmen killed and not him as the champion-coming-to-rescue. So the only thing she could was to run, because going down on her knees and worshipping the monters wasn't in her nature.

After all, the predator could be the one that slaughtered the buffaloes. But when the French trappers showed up to find Naru in one of their traps, she finally started to understand how the predator was trying to protect her. It's just he cannot act, because there's so, so many of them.

You can feel that he's watching and getting healed, while Naru is trapped in a wooden cage. The trapper's asks about the nature of the beast. But she doesn't reveal anything that the trappers would understand.

It is her brother that speaks against the predator's nature by uttering the immortal words on the bait tree, "If it bleeds, we can kill it."

The surprise comes with the twist as the hunter steps into the trappers trap and gets downed. The predator makes it a fair fight, even though the French do their upmost to get him down. He even gives the hunters a chance to reload their muskets.

I loved the fight. It was so much better than the original one.

It was the second match that riled me, because the predator arrived in the trappers camp, following Naru's trail, only to get attacked by his brother. I can understand that both were acting as protectors, and when the brother took a stand, Naru had to follow the case instead of understanding the nature of the case of her protector.

Why is it that she chose to fight the beast at the end? Challenge or revenge?

---

I agree with the other critics with a twist. This is THE BEST predator movie!
 

Parson

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Thanks for pointing this out. I didn't read all you've got to say because I want to watch this without too many expectations.
 
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Mon0Zer0

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Prey - a worthy sequel (or remake) to Predator, although I venture it's actually a remake. The accolades its garnering are justified - it is the second best in the franchise, imho.

The premise is a mashup of The Revenant told from a Native American perspective meets the Predator. Its weakest aspect is the whole Predator thing and the whole movie would have benefited from removing the more fantastical elements. The tension and mystery of the first movie just aren't there as we know what the monster is like and what its capable of. When the Predator is offscreen and we follow the lead teaching herself to hunt, tracking prey or interacting with her tribesmen the movie comes alive.

The elements with the Predator are still entertaining, but I almost wish they had committed to the remake but with maybe a different monster - maybe even something from indigenous folklore. When it pays homage to or quotes from or inverts the original it takes you out of the movie.

I wish they had used Silvestri's score though (if it had to be a Predator movie) or, something that built on the original score - maybe the choice of instruments. The music in the movie was good and I liked it, but it was a tad generic.

The ending veers into comic book territory as it stretches your suspension of disbelief beyond normal bounds, but even so it feels satisfying.


The actors are good. The story is well written. The setting is great and photographed in a way that makes it seem like an A24 movie.

Other than that, a movie that benefits from being a very simple premise in the vein of Karl Urban's Dredd movie.

Thoughtful development of themes and an interesting meditation on hunting in general. Not overly weighed down by "The Message" and treats the central idea of breaking with gender roles very well, although, again, the last act was too much where it all went a bit too Marvel.
 
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Parson

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(Quoted from Movie thread) I found this to be a crackjack! I give it 8.5 out of 10. Without giving any of the plot away there were two things I had trouble believing. One, the skill level of the lead character with a hatchet, especially a hatched with a tether. Two, the way a tiny shield could stop a hail of bullets from multiple angles. Three, the effectiveness of an unprocessed herbal remedy. ---- But those are picky; all of the big things were done very well indeed.

@ctg --- I didn't see anything that made me think that the Predator was protecting Naru at all when watching it. Now that you've put that idea in my head, maybe the scene with the trappers could be seen that way. But on first go round, I thought the Predator was simply proving him/her/itself against the best that the planet had to offer. In my mind I saw this as a kind of initiation rite, a trial by fire, into an inner circle of the Predators. --- No evidence, just where my mind goes.

Naru (Amber Midthunder) has to be the most convincing 18th century American Indian ever! I did wonder if a female would be permitted to hunt at all, and what someone of breed-able age was doing without a mate. --- I work with a Native church in Nebraska and will see what the local expert in Indian ways has to say about this. (Full blood native college professor, whose passion is native lore and life.)
 
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ctg

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I didn't see anything that made me think that the Predator was protecting Naru at all when watching it. Now that you've put that idea in my head, maybe the scene with the trappers could be seen that way. But on first go round, I thought the Predator was simply proving him/her/itself against the best that the planet had to offer. In my mind I saw this as a kind of initiation rite, a trial by fire, into an inner circle of the Predators. --- No evidence, just where my mind goes.
Well, if he's not a protector then he most certainly did weird things by not taking Naru's life when he had the opportunity. He had plenty of opportunities to do so, starting from the lion hunting and ending with the geezer by the fire. Naru even goes and says to him something along the line, "you cannot kill me," and she's right. It is only when she introduces the world of pain afterwards that the predator acts like he's supposed to.

In the original movie, they go into the jungle, clean the village, and then they're effed, because the beast hunts all of them afterwards almost as if he's saying "None can leave." No second thoughts given on whose next on the list, they are all going to be trophies. And if you think about it, Dutch most certainly could not have done Naru's dialogue by the fire. The predator literally waits for her to finish and the the French geezer to make a mistake, and then he moves past Naru to finish the guy. If he would have wanted, he could had taken both of them.

Same thing when she was kidnapped. She escaped and met the scout in the grassy field. The scout got tapped and killed, while she escaped to the arms of the trappers, even though the predator could have just taken her and be done with the business. It just didn't happen, and she told it to her brother, while they were tied to the tree.

There is also a point, where the great hunter jumps on the tree tops, while they are still tied down. The predator did nothing to take them out. The doggie did charge him, but for knowing he's Naru's dog, the predator showed a great deal of restrain to not take him down, even though he could have done it easily.
 
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Parson

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Still don't buy it. I think mostly the Predator did not take her as a threat. That's the theme that gets played over and over in the movie. He/She/It kills the wolf, lets the bunny escape. He/She/It goes after the bear, not the dog. Takes on the brother and not Naru. Beside that I would say an underlying them in the movie is that no one take Naru seriously, until she proves them wrong. Also it should be remembered that at the end Naru realizes the Predator can't "see" her. The movie hints that it's because of the drug that lowers body temperature meaning she doesn't glow in the infra-red spectrum that the Predator sees in. There's that great scene when she actually has to take a step to the side or the Predator will walk right into her.

Now, I have only seen 3 of these movies. The original, Alien vs. Pedator, and now this one. Of those three I like this one the best, but the original is surely close, and perhaps if I had seen it more recently I would have the order reversed. So perhaps a case can be built from the previous movies that the Predator would choose someone to save, and then I might buy it. But I just don't see it here. I think the better explanation is the regular them of Naru being underestimated.
 
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ctg

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Alien vs. Pedator
In that one, they explain that the humans were just a bait and the predator sees the xenomorphs are the ultimate enemy. It's just when you're a hunter you don't play with the prey as it's considered dishonourable and unsporting like activity. I also do understand that not everyone is going to buy the protector aspect, but to my eyes, it was certainly a strong possibility.

Also it should be remembered that at the end Naru realizes the Predator can't "see" her. The movie hints that it's because of the drug that lowers body temperature meaning she doesn't glow in the infra-red spectrum that the Predator sees in. There's that great scene when she actually has to take a step to the side or the Predator will walk right into her.
Yeah, she uses that but she also uses the knowledge that the one didn't do anything to her, when her legs was caught in the trap. She voiced it to her brother, and when they get freed during the trapper fight, the predator doesn't target them. It is only afterwards when Naru goes to the camp and the brother comes back with the horse, that the brother gets wiped.

Naru takes the drug at the end, when she has the plan finalized and the helmet is sitting by the bog. To my eyes that was the finalizing touch in her plan, to get harder to see, but she isn't completely invisible. Just like the one legged geezer. His body temperature had dropped equal to the other ones, but he was still warmer in the predator vision than the ground.

In the Predators (2010), it is established that they transport the best of the species to the hunting grounds on a Moon. So they have to act as protectors to their chosen ones. In the hunting grounds, the prey is there for the challenge, and some survive multiple seasons. Still it's kind of iffy as we don't get to see their culture a great deal, but I do wish that they would do one in the alien universe, with Colonial Marines others of their kind.
 

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Just finished a watch and really enjoyed it and have to say probably one of the top 3 films with the Predator in.

What I liked
Lead and her brother were both excellent
No plasma Cannon for the Predator
Looked just beautiful
that top down shot of the Predator chasing them through the long grass was interesting (reminded me of the raptor scene in JP2)
Fights were good and the nee Predator tech was very nice
Loved the Predators Skull helmet
That flintlock that Naru gets is the same one that the Predator at the end of Predator 2 gives to Danny Glover

What I didn't like
Predator gloves made the hands look odd and he often didn't move like he had any real weight, Arnies predator looked like he was a heavy unit
Proficiency with the tethered axe was off the scale
Its probably historically accurate but I didn't like the hand over the top bow draw just looked odd but is probably quite effective
The continued use in action films of the run, drop, sliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide manoeuvre

Overall a pretty damn fine film.
 

ctg

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No plasma Cannon for the Predator
The thing about the plasma caster is that they have to earn it. Prey's predator most certainly had earned rights, as he was truly a hunter, but he opted to use the bolt caster instead. And I have to say it is very effective and stealthier than the plasma caster.
Loved the Predators Skull helmet
That skull can be seen on the trophy wall at Predator 2. I almost lifted it up in my review, but the thing about it is that it's an alternate helmet to their traditional design, and it showed amazing resilience against projectiles. I'd loved seeing that hunt, because it reminds me about another alien/engineer species seen in the Aliens Fireteam Elite, with similar kind of resilience against bullets and ever energy based projectiles.
 

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Hulu just announced that its recent film Prey, a prequel to the famed 1987 film Predator, is the “#1 premiere on Hulu to date, including all film and TV series debuts.” That’s a big deal for any film, but even bigger when you realize where it all started.

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Prey director Dan Trachtenberg revealed that the first seeds of the idea came from a car ride when he was a child and a story of a scene that doesn’t exactly exist. “I was in third grade when Predator came out, and I was not allowed to see R-rated movies,” he told the trade. “So then I found myself in the back of a carpool on the way to a karate tournament with all the sixth graders who had just seen Predator, and they spent the entire ride telling me the entire movie. And I vividly remembered that they said there was a scene where Billy, the Native American tracker, stood on a bridge over a waterfall and fought the Predator. But when I eventually saw the movie, that scene was not in it. [Laughs.] The beginning of it is, but then it cuts away. So the seed was planted, and then I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a movie that focuses on that character’s story?’ And Prey isn’t exactly that, but it is, spiritually.”
 

ctg

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So Prey has managed to do what five previous attempts at a Predator sequel have failed at. In the process, it not only created a good follow up movie to Predator but also a solid template for creating many, many more Predator movies—if you were so inclined.


Yet at the same time, it has also placed hard limits on what future movies can (or should) do with that concept.
Prey ditches the hyper-masculinity, and the film’s hero, Naru (Amber Midthunder), has no need to journey back to any kind of mythical primordial past. She is a hunter in a culture where hunting is a core part of their way of life, and the tools Dutch has to resort to in the first film are already her stock in trade. It is not glamorized or exoticized; it is just how she lives.
And the Predator is not the only threat she and her community face. Tracking the Predator she finds snakes and wolves skinned whole, but she also finds buffalo—not creatures that would make a worthy trophy for the Predator. That is because they were skinned by white colonists. One of the first things we see Naru do is examine one of the French fur trappers’ bear traps. The device uses technology differently from what she is familiar with, but it’s a mechanism she can easily understand. Seeing her pick it apart works as a microcosm of how she will approach the Predator.

We know the Predator’s goals; we know its MO; but by seeing it through Naru’s eyes, it is made fresh, and we learn about her by watching her take on this familiar threat. Prey was not the first to have this idea. The fan film Predator: Dark Ages sees the Predator go up against a medieval knight. The non-Predator movie, Outlander, maroons an alien astronaut who must defend a Viking settlement against an alien monster.

And it is a trick you can pull over and over again.

Roman Centurions vs. Predator. Spartans vs. Predator. The Spanish Inquisition vs. Predator. Robin Hood vs. Predator! Genghis Khan vs. Predator! Predators arriving on prehistoric Earth and duking it out with T-Rexes!
 

Parson

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I checked with my Amer-Indian expert, and she says that Naru is indeed culturally correct for the time. A woman would not have to be married, (husband moves into the mother's home), A woman could be a hunter, and indeed she could be the lead hunter. It's really great to have someone confirm that a movie got a lot of the cultural things correct.
 
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ctg

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A question, how did the predator survive the bear fight? That scarred bear clawed and bit him, and yet the predator got up and smacked him down to all of our amazement, including the bear.
 

ctg

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20th Century Studios has announced that Dan Trachtenberg's critically-acclaimed Predator prequel is officially the #1 premiere on Hulu to date, including all film and TV series debuts. Additionally, Prey is the most watched film premiere on Star+ in Latin America and Disney+ under the Star Banner in all other territories, based on hours watched in the first three days of its release.

Audiences have been starved of a really effective Predator movie for many years (one could argue since the '80s original), and Hulu did a terrific job of marketing the action-packed sci-fi flick, so this probably won't come as much of a surprise. The film was also a huge hit with critics, currently sitting at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.
 

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