Hello moviegoers and welcome to the House of Macleod Movie Review Corner! Today we take a look at PREY (2022, R, 1h 39m) starring Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Stormee Kipp, Michelle Thrush, Julian Black Antelope and Dane DiLiegro. Set 300 years ago, in 1719, against the backdrop of the Comanche Nation in the wilds of the Northern Great Plains, we meet the story’s heroine Naru (Midthunder) and her tracking dog Sarii. Naru spends the day training to be a hunter against the wishes of her tribe and her brother her Taabe (Beavers). One day, she is tracking deer to feed her family and prove that she is ready to face a test that will prove her usefulness not only as a proud warrior but also as a skilled hunter when she witnesses a “Thunderbird ” in the sky. She sees this as an omen that she is ready and goes with her brothers to track down and kill a mountain lion that has been stalking her tribe and has already attacked one of the tribe’s hunters. Once they find her fallen brother, they discover that he is alive but critically injured and must return to camp if he is to survive. Taabe decides to stay and complete the hunt, while Naru decides to accompany her and sees that this is the perfect opportunity not only to kill the lion, but also to prove her worth as her hunter among her brothers and her group. . Using her tracking abilities, Naru discovers that the Lion has been chased away by something much larger that has a nasty penchant for skinning snakes and leaving massive footprints. I won’t say much more about the plot because I really don’t want to spoil it because I really enjoyed PREY and I feel like even though I’ve marked this post with spoilers as usual I would be a jerk. If I told you the whole story. You know, in the last 32 years since PREDATOR 2 was released, I have to say PREY is the first one that makes me feel like I’m watching a genuine installment of the franchise. It’s only fair that it’s a prequel set three hundred years in the past, but it ties in so deeply that it truly feels at home with its predecessors. If I had to give you one piece of advice, that advice would be to go and sit down and watch PREDATOR 2 and then watch this as soon as you can afterward. PREY returns to the great formula that the original managed to pull off so well without being cheesy or cartoonish like the AVP movies ended up being. Director Dan Trachtenberg deftly puts together a film that is not only respectful of its source material, but also manages to give the predatory creature a new look, by taking its technology back 300 years earlier as well. The story that scribe Patrick Aison has crafted with Trachtenberg is not only educational but engaging, featuring some absolutely fantastic settings and plenty of that glorious violence we’ve come to expect from a Predator movie. Jeff Cutter provides the cinematography with Alberta, Canada, instead of the Great Plains, capitalizing on this with some absolutely beautiful panoramic shots of the landscape being tactically used not only as the hunting ground for predators, but also as a backdrop for the action. To me, it almost felt like the field was a character in the movie in the same way that Gotham City is for Batman. Sarah Schachner provides an excellent soundtrack with a string arrangement that not only helps create the tension of the story, but provides much of the heart of the film. Speaking of the heart of the film, Amber Midthunder is fantastic as the medicine practitioner and hunter Naru. She spends most of the movie alone with her dog just to keep her company. Normally this would hurt a character’s progression, but Midthunder takes on the role as if she was born to play it and makes a formidable foe for the Predator highlighted by the likes of Schwarzenegger and Glover.
The Predator (Dane Diliegro) himself is no slouch in this film, making quick work of just about any aggressive species he can find on the Great Plains while really shining in a scene where he finds himself in the middle of a battle with some French Voyageurs who as you can imagine stood less than a snowball in hell’s chance against the trained and skillful warrior with his primitive weaponry of the time. I love the Predator franchise, readers of my recent look back at PREDATOR 2 will know this and as a fan I really loved PREY and would like to see more of the Comanche tribe featured in this movie. At one hour and thirty-nine minutes, it won’t take much of your time, but you’ll be glad you spent it tracking the monster with Naru and Sarii. PREY is available on HULU in the United States and Disney plus in the rest of the world starting today.
Macleod House loved it although could have been a bit longer 9/10