Prey (2022) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)

Amber Midthunder commands this “Predator” prequel that may lack notable characters beyond hers but provides the kind of violence expected.


Community Rating: 88% (2 votes)

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The grey title card for 'Prey'

Amber Midthunder commands this “Predator” prequel that may lack notable characters beyond hers but provides the kind of violence expected.

Director(s) Dan Trachtenberg
Screenplay By Patrick Aison
Date Released (Hulu) 8/5/2022
Genre(s) Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Young Adult
Duration 1 Hour, 39 Minutes
Content Rating Rated R
Noted Cast
Naru Amber Midthunder

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Film Summary

Sometime around 1715, Comanche native Naru is trying to prove herself worth being a hunter rather than a gatherer. This is a struggle due to her society fiercely believing in gender roles, but as the French invade and a Predator hunts whoever is the apex predator at any given time, Naru will have the opportunity to prove everyone wrong.

Things To Note

  • Reason(s) for Film Rating: Cursing (Minor cursing), Violence (Violence against animals, gore, gun violence), Sexual Content (N/A), Miscellaneous (N/A)
  • Sequel/Prequel Potential: The recap in the credits ends with a hint that a sequel could be produced with more predators coming

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Why did the Predator choose that specific area, or was what we saw its plane crash landing and jumping out?

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Naru

Naru (Amber Midthunder) with an intense look
“Naru (Amber Midthunder),” Prey, directed by Dan Trachtenberg, 2022, (Hulu)

While Naru has gained a reputation as a tracker and medicine woman, she feels her talents are wasted being on the gather side of the hunter/gatherer society she is growing up in. Because of this, she seeks every opportunity to show that her tracking skills are good for small game, like rabbits, and she can be formidable against larger beings, like bears and bobcats. Mainly by using strategy and the fact she is underestimated.

Review


Community Rating: 88% (2 votes)


Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive)

Highlights

Midthunder Carries the Film

Unfortunately, in “Prey,” there isn’t the strongest character development or even world-building. Very little can be said about supporting characters, and even for Naru, the basis of her character is that she is a girl who wants the opportunity to be a hunter, which in her gendered society, it is believed she can’t be. That is the sole thing built into Naru that, on paper, would get you invested in the character.

Thankfully, Midthunder adds something to Naru not written on the page by giving us the kind of determination that is worthy of a lead character. She adds layers to Naru by knowing when to slow down, pause, and how to bring a certain intensity in some moments, yet never presenting Naru as someone who can’t be killed. This combination makes it so you’ll wish she had the right supporting cast and script, considering what she was done with so little.

The Action

When it comes to “Prey,” it might be more so the visuals than the action that gets you. However, until you get adjusted to people’s spines and heads being ripped out of, or off of, their bodies, you are forced to adjust to the shock of seeing such. And when it comes to legitimizing the idea of someone from the 1715s defeating a creature with technology that hasn’t been invented over 300 years later? There is enough work done to strengthen those like Naru and weaken the Predator to make it believable.

Low Points

Low Value Supporting Characters

“Prey” isn’t the type of action movie which pushes you to worry about the lives of its characters – beyond the lead. Whether it is Naru’s brother or those who are other hunters, you don’t know much about them enough to care if the French or the Predator kills them. Everyone is fodder for a violent end by someone’s hands, which chips away at how powerful the death sequences could be. This makes it so that by the end of the film, there are certainly familiar faces, and when they die, you recognize how much that could pain Naru. However, it’s hard you’ll have the type of investment required to care.

The end movie title card for 'Prey'
“The end movie title card for ‘Prey,'” Prey, directed by Dan Trachtenberg, 2022, (Hulu)

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Ending

Throughout the movie, everyone, both human and the Predator, underestimated Naru. Because of this, she had multiple opportunities to see what the Predator is capable of and devise a plan. Now, you can’t discount French-Canadians, and Naru’s fellow Comanche weakening up the Predator with guns, spears, and more. However, using the Predator’s mask, which fires bolts, Naru is able to trap him in a bog, make him think he has her cornered, and get him to kill himself.

Thus leading to her defeating him and finally being bestowed the title of a hunter. But considering the end credits include more Predators on the horizon, the celebration might be short-lived.

The grey title card for 'Prey'
Prey (2022) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)
Overall
At first, you may question why “Prey” wasn’t released in theaters, considering how Midthunder is written and how the film approaches including the Predator. However, as you come to realize characters exist mainly for entertaining death sequences, not because they are truly meant to matter, you get it. And as much as Midthunder carries the film, it isn’t without Naru faltering at times under the weight of a weak feminist plot used to cheaply get you invested.
Highlights
Midthunder Carries the Film
The Action
Disputable
Low Value Supporting Characters
70

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