It’s not always been easy being a fan of the Predator franchise. Between the lackluster Alien vs Predator duology and 2018’s woeful attempt at a reboot, The Predator, there have been considerably more lows than highs for the sci-fi action series in recent years. But, more than three decades on from the original movie, fans may finally have a worthy follow-up.
Prey is scheduled to launch on Hulu on Friday, August 5 and the pre-release signs look extremely promising. On paper, this Predator prequel looks like quite a risky move for the franchise, but based on its early critical buzz, it’s a risk that has paid off better than any sci-fi fanatic could have hoped for. Here’s why you need to keep Prey on your radar.
What is Prey about?
Prey is set in the Comanche Nation more than 300 years ago in 1717, and follows a fierce and highly skilled warrior named Naru (Amber Midthunder) who must protect her people after a deadly creature begins stalking their camp.
But this is no ordinary beast hunting them; instead, Naru must face off against a highly evolved alien Predator with a technically advanced arsenal and superhuman abilities. But the young warrior is not without skills of her own and soon the pair meet for a vicious and terrifying showdown.
Remarkably, the film is available to watch in both English and Comanche language, with the entire cast performing an alternate wholly Comanche dub of the film. Hulu will offer viewers both language tracks on release, but if you want a truly authentic experience then definitely pick the Comanche dub.
What do critics say about Prey?
Prey is scheduled to release on Friday (August 5) but some lucky critics have already had the chance to watch the film, and it would appear the overwhelming majority were impressed. The film currently scores a very strong 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.
This is a franchise high for the Predator series, with only 1987’s Predator on 80% landing anywhere near. Granted, the Predator movies have never been critical darlings, with 1990’s Predator 2 pulling just 30% and the last attempt at a franchise revival, The Predator, managing an equally poor 33%. 2010’s Predators did earn a middling 60%, but none of the hunter-alien's previous big screen outings come close to matching Prey’s impressive score.
Olly Richards of Time Out declared that Prey is the “excellent Predator film we’ve been praying for.” And Empire’s James Dyer was similarly positive, labelling Prey “the best Predator movie since the original” and saying “Prey proves that, against all expectation, there’s life in the franchise yet, not to mention a thrilling new lead in Amber Midthunder.”
Another positive take came from G. Allen Johnson of The San Francisco Chronicle, who called the movie “ a lean, mean, riveting back-to-nature horror film that flies through its thrilling 99 minutes.” Chuck Bowen of Slant Magazine offers a more negative write-up, arguing that Prey struggles to break free of the long shadow cast by the original classic Predator film. However, Prey has mostly enjoyed extremely positive reviews.
Should you stream Prey?
If you’re even slightly interested in the Predator franchise then watching Prey this weekend is a total no-brainer. In fact, even if you only have a passing interest in the legendary sci-fi series you should probably still stream this critically acclaimed prequel. Heck, even viewers with no interest in the Predator movies till now might want to give Prey a shot by the sounds of it.
By most accounts, Prey isn’t just one of the best new movies to stream this week, but one of the best movies released on a streaming service all year — so get this one in your watchlist as soon as possible. As noted, the film will be streaming from Friday (August 5) on Hulu in the U.S., and over in the U.K., it’ll drop on Disney Plus on the same date.
Predator fans have had to endure a lot of underwhelming and straight-up bad films over the past few decades, but it seems that Prey is the prequel that we truly deserve. Now if Hulu could please give the Alien franchise the same treatment next.
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