Prey (2022)

I literally only heard about this about two / three weeks ago; i had no idea it was in production. A sad time when how much out of contact i am with the film world, when a bleeding Predator film can creep on me. Next you’ll be telling me a National Treasure TV show is in development and will literally be out soon. That would knock me for six. I used to be so in tune with the heartbeat of entertainment, knowing years in advance when films were coming and allowing the formation of pre-opinions. (ie that Dungeons and Dragons film is going to be great. Even if its rubbish. I have decided.)

Anyway, i digest.

Hearing about a new Predator movie is like…i don’t know. Hearing someone is making you dinner, tonight, and ‘its your favourite’. Because it means you’ll either go home to a pile of absolute nonsence that someone completely misinterpreted about what you liked and didn’t like (Tuna Salad, AvP: Requiem), or you’ll get something flatline generic (spag bol, The Predator), or you’ll get something fetchingly close to what you want but not good enough (cod fishcakes with dauphinose potatoes and greens, Predators / AvP). What you won’t get is Mackerel goujons, hand cut southern fried wedges and tossed vinegarette salad.

The problem is of course, if i wanted that i’d watch the original Predator. Or at a push Predator 2. What i don’t want is a rehash of the original, nor do i want something trying something new with the franchise that will ultimately lead to failure.

Prey could easily have fallen into a pit trap of terrible. It could have been stupid, cheesy, silly, a barrel of nonsence filled with too many nods to the original that would make you turn it off and watch the original.

But no. Theres something oddly attractive about watching a native american fight against a more primal version of the scary multiple-mandibled monster. All the lead actors are of native american ancestry so theres a fair level of authenticity; there’re subtle hints to the bigger picture unfolding in the wider world (the mass slaying of buffalo on the Great Plains by fools from Britain and Europe), and history happening nearby, but none of that’s relevant. This is a claustrophobic action piece about survival.

…yet also a hard hitting story about coming-of-age, spiritually and socially, in a culture quite unique to the Native Americans.

I am worryingly close to saying this film is a pitch perfect 10/10. What i can tell you without a shadow of a doubt: its the best Predator film since Predator. And Predator IS flawless.

But the franchise couldn’t produce another strike of lightening. So lets hope they won’t try.

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