It is Thursday and we are still a day away from the weekend and I decided to review a critically acclaimed film in order to keep abreast with the International market. And with that I finished watching the new English film Prey which is streaming on Hulu. The film is said to be a prequel to the Predator franchise, a franchise which has seen its fair share of highs and lows. I remember I was in my teens when I happened to watch the first film in the Predator series perhaps on Star Movies. And I had really liked the film although it was censored for television viewing. But with time, the franchise was reduced to a cash cow and so it met its fate of not really succeeding in what it had earlier set out to be(in my humble opinion). So I was really curious with the film Prey which was touted as a prequel to the franchise which was apparently done and dusted. To top it, people were applauding this film as well and I decided to jump into the bandwagon to check out Prey for myself. Does Prey manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
A Prequel to the original Predator film, Prey follows the story of a protagonist who fights to protect her tribe from one of the first Predator attacks in her region. The story is interesting although nothing which you have watched it already. The screenplay standing at just under a 100 minutes makes for a crisp watch without any lag in it.
The secret to the Predator film did lay in its setup. You weren’t directly introduced to the Predator, rather the approach was unassuming, tactfully delaying the inevitable. This did keep the audience a step ahead of the characters in the film which made for a compelling watch. And that is the sole reason why this screenplay has your attention from the beginning.
The ambiguity at the start for the protagonist in trying to hunt the “Predator” without her being aware of its advanced technology which the Predator was capable of makes for a intriguing start. The buildup is slow as it tactfully absorbs its viewer in the drama giving them just an inkling of signs to come. The inevitable is brilliantly delayed in thus atmospheric survival thriller wherein every now and then, a few animals are killed off. This leads to the introduction of the conflict(read : Predator) after which are hell breaks loose.
The action set pieces are thoroughly entertaining and engrossing with the right amount of blood and gore. Once the cat is out of the bag, the drama is one dimensional thus focusing only on the action which again did go as per plan. The final act is also a satisfying one wherein the events leading up to it are quite interesting. Thus, it sums up a screenplay which have many tense moments and relies on the atmospherics for a well crafted thriller.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are adequate but the good part is that they are minimally used. Also, the decision to use a native language in the screenplay adds authenticity to the drama. The BGM is enthralling and it heightens the drama in many places. The cinematography is stunning and captures some beautiful visuals which make for a great watch. Director Dan Trachtenberg does a great job in playing with the atmospherics and delivering a tense survival thriller in what turned out to be an immensely satisfying watch.
The performances are really good. Stormee Kipp as Wasape and Mike Paterson as Big Beard have their moments to shine. Dakota Beavers as Taabe is first rate. Dane Diliegro as Ptedator is absolutely exceptional and he does send a shiver down your spine everytime he is onscreen. Amber Midthunder as Naru holds the film together with a very layered yet convincing portrayal of a character which has many shades to her. She is exceptional to watch.
Prey is a tense prequel to the original Predator which makes for a compelling watch. Highly Recommended from my side.