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Prey (2022) poster

Prey (2022) Review

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Prey (2022) poster

Prey is a complete film that smartly used its setting, pacing and characters to craft an experience that embodied a “hunt” and a journey which evolved from the “hunted” becoming the “hunter”. Out of all the Predator films that came before, Prey has now become my most favourite entry within the franchise and if I am being totally honest, I found it superior than many blockbuster films released this year.

What I absolutely love about Prey is how the hunt unravels and climaxes. Physical attributes such as strength and agility while important aren’t the focal area of this hunt, rather the aspects that primarily determines the whole conflict is the observational ability and situational awareness of the main lead (Naru). This completely nullifies the gender disparity that may exist in terms of physical capabilities and makes a female lead taking on the Predator a non-issue. The whole movie serves to build off on the scenes that came before to arrive at a point where the information accrued becomes the weapon that is able to smite a “giant”. In terms of sports, think of how underdog teams become “Giant Killers” when they are able to use the information they gather on a superior opponent to arrive at strategies and counters that ultimately see them triumphant.

Throughout the film, information is continuously derived and slowly Naru is able to piece together the image of her opponent and the boundaries defining its terror. Fear is only insufferable when the cloud of uncertainty exaggerates the dread. Once form is attached to darkness, the consuming anxiety diminishes its reach. Such a narrative can be palpably felt throughout this film. And in conjunction with defining the Predator, the uniqueness of the main lead is highlighted. Naru’s receptiveness to possibility becomes a strength that defines her as an iconic lead character. There have been many female-led action films recently that struggled to find mainstream acceptance but I don’t believe Prey has any issue with such an area. Rather it excels at presenting a fleshed-out, relatable and memorable lead character. I completely loved how Naru was written and portrayed by Amber Midthunder.

If I were to make another analogy, Prey is like experiencing a boss fight in the Shadows of the Colossus game. The first thought you are faced with when encountering the overwhelming opponent is the impossibility of success. But when information is gathered and the mechanics of the opponent are defined within their boundaries, the path toward victory becomes illuminated. Here the Predator operates in habitual ways. Rather than strength and power serving to overcome the threat, it is the exploitation of the Predator’s nature that effects the outcome. In certain Martial Arts, the strength of the individual become secondary to techniques capable of employing an opponents force against them.

Overall, Prey was a film I found to be a phenomenal viewing. I had expectations coming into the screening after hearing the buzz around it yet I still found myself shocked at how much I loved it. I was completely satisfied and overjoyed at how the Predator formula has finally been done right again. Dan Trachtenberg, the director of Prey, did an amazing job. 10 Cloverfield Lane was another film of his that I absolutely loved with a twist at the end of film I don’t think I will ever forget because I knew nothing about the film before deciding to watch it in the cinema when it came out. That climatic turn at the end (in 10 Cloverfield Lane) left me in awe and genuinely stunned. Going forward I sincerely hope we get more Predator films like Prey.

Enjoyment level: 9.5/10

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