A prequel to Predator (1987), Prey is a dark, enhancing film that is fascinating at every turn. See it on Hulu.
Filmed in Alberta, Canada and taking place in 1719, the film focuses on a Comanche tribe haunted by an unknown creature. Thought to be a lion, a small group of men set out to kill it.
But with a performance unequaled in any film this year, Naru, a young girl, joins them. Played in unforgettable fashion by Amber Midthunder, Naru and Sarii, her dog, search for the creature that roams somewhere in the woods.
Eventually the predator surfaces and death ensues. All the Comanche hunters are violently killed with the exception of Naur and her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers). Both are left bleeding and wounded, and they aren’t helped when they encounter racist French trappers.
The movie is bloody beyond words so be prepared. However, to use one of my favorite phrases, Naru takes a violent licking but keeps on ticking. Ironically, her dark Indian facial makeup leaves her at every turn a woman of intense beauty.
I was a history major in college, and I love stories of the American West to this day. The Comanche tribe in this film lived like their ancestors before being driven to reservations by white settlers claiming the land.
The strength of this film is that Director Dan Trachtenberg, who previously brought us 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016), brings history to life as you watch Native Americans fight an alien bent on their destruction. In a sense, it was the same battle they fought to preserve their way of life as settlers become Human Predators.
We should remember that the alien in this film was soon emulated in the 18th and 19th centuries by Americans and who nearly destroyed the millions of buffalo serving as food for Native Americans. I was left wishing that Ms. Midthunder’s Naru found a way to dispose of these human aliens as she does the predator in this remarkable film.