Prey, a slasher in disguise, proves to be among the best of the franchise

by Gordon Shelly

Prey is a good movie, possibly a great movie. Time will tell as the film is digested and re-watched.

Predator is a great movie, but quite possibly not a good movie. It is a movie that was ’80s to the core. Grand action, with over the top violence, and heroes dishing out one-liners every step of the way. As time passes, I find the original less and less re-watchable.

I’m not sure where Prey will fall 5, 10, or 15 years from now. But I know I want to watch it again.

Admittedly, I am a fan of the Predator universe. I have watched every movie in the franchise multiple times, with the exception of Predator 2, which is a barely watchable mess.  All of the movies have a high degree (some more than others of) entertainment value.

Prey is different. It is a good movie. Strong characters. A solid story. Top-notch acting from unproven quantities.

It is the story of Naru, a young Comanche woman who desires to be a warrior. Her brother, Taabe, helps her every step of the way. As Naru begins her journey, a small hunting party in search of a lion soon discovers they are being hunted by the otherworldly predator.

There is a high body count and a moments of immense violence, but they all fit the context of the story.

At its core, Prey could be classified as a slasher film, especially the sequence with the French trappers, which reminded me of the bus scene in the most recent Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

What carries Prey furthest are the characters. The viewer feels compassion for the characters, even those briefly introduced, so as they are taken down, one by one (or sometimes two at a time), there is an impact felt.

The strength of character makes the final outcome for this movie all the more satisfying.

Gordon’s Grade: A-