Hello film fans and welcome to the House of Macleod’s 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 heroine of the story Naru (Midthunder) and her tracking dog Sarii. Naru spends her day training to be a hunter against the wishes of her tribe and her brother Taabe ( Beavers ). One day she is out tracking deer to feed her family and prove she is ready to face a trial that will prove her usefulness as not only a proud warrior but 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 and kill a mountain lion that has been stalking her tribe and has already attacked one of the tribe's hunters. Once they find their fallen brother they find that he is alive but gravely injured and must return to the camp if he is to survive. Taabe decides to stay and complete the hunt while Naru decides to tag along seeing this as the perfect opportunity to not only slay the Lion but prove herself as a hunter amongst her brothers and her party. Using her tracking skills Naru finds that the Lion has been chased off by something far bigger that has a nasty penchant for skinning snakes and leaving massive footprints. I won’t say much else about the plot because I genuinely don’t want to spoil it for you as I really enjoyed PREY and I feel that although I’ve marked this post with spoilers, as usual, I’d be a dick if I told you the whole story. You know, over the last 32 years since PREDATOR 2 was released, I have to say PREY is the first one to make me feel like I was watching a genuine instalment in the franchise. Fair enough it's a prequel that is set three hundred years in the past but it ties in in such a deep way that it really does feel at home with its predecessors. If I were to give you advice, that advice would be to go and sit down to PREDATOR 2 and then watch this as soon as you can afterwards. PREY goes back to the great formula that the original managed to achieve so well without it being cheesy or cartoonish like the AVP movies ended up being. Director Dan Trachtenberg skilfully puts together a film that is not only respectful to its source material but manages to bring a new look to the predator creature, itself by having its technology regress to 300 years previous too. The story that scribe Patrick Aison has put together with Trachtenberg is not only taught but engaging and features some absolutely fantastic set pieces and a whole lot of that glorious violence that we’ve come to expect from a Predator film. Jeff Cutter provides the cinematography with Alberta, Canada standing in for the Great Plains, taking advantage of this with some absolutely gorgeous sweeping shots of the scenery which is used tactically as not only the Predators hunting ground but the backdrop for the action. To me, it almost felt like the countryside was a character in the film much in the way that Gotham City does for Batman. Sarah Schachner provides an excellent soundtrack with a sweeping string-based arrangement that not only helps built 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 trainee medicine woman and hunter Naru. She spends most of the film solitary with only her dog to keep her company. Normally, this would hurt a character's progression, but Midthunder takes to the role like she was born to play it and makes a formidable enemy for the Predator standing tall with the likes of Schwarzenegger and Glover.
The Predator himself (Dane Diliegro) is no slouch in this movie, making short work of almost any aggressive species he can find in the Great Plains while really shining in a scene where he finds himself in the middle of a battle with some French Voyageurs whom as you can imagine standing less than a snowball in hells chance against the trained and skilled warrior with their primitive weaponry of the period. I absolutely love the Predator franchise, readers of my recent look back at PREDATOR 2 will know this and as a fan, I genuinely loved PREY and would actually like to see more of the Comanche tribe that feature in this film. At an hour and thirty-nine minutes it won’t take up much of your time but you’ll be glad that you spent it trailing 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.
The House of Macleod loved it, even though it could have been slightly longer 9/10