Prey Film Review 2022: Hulu Predator Franchise

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Prey: The Revitalization of the Predator Franchise

Prey is a breath of fresh air in the Predator franchise, thanks to the directorial prowess of Dan Trachtenberg. Following Matt Reeves’ Cloverfield franchise, which had fallen into obscurity, the studio was in desperate need of a new and thrilling installment to reignite interest. That’s when Trachtenberg, known for his work on 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016), stepped in with a unique vision. Unlike its towering predecessor, Trachtenberg’s approach focused on fear, paranoia, and claustrophobia, setting the stage for a tension-filled underground shelter and a small cast of characters.

Trachtenberg’s unconventional method paid off, injecting new life into a franchise that seemed almost lifeless. By eschewing the traditional Hollywood approach, he crafted a captivating horror-thriller with sci-fi undertones. Audiences were left on the edge of their seats as the tension heightened, building up to a climactic showdown with the menacing Predator.

A Fresh Take on the Franchise

The choice to entrust Trachtenberg with the Predator franchise may have seemed peculiar at first, given the mixed quality of previous installments. However, his unique perspective and innovative storytelling were exactly what the franchise needed. Trachtenberg’s Prey takes us back to 1719 on the Great Plains, following the journey of a determined Comanche warrior named Naru, brilliantly portrayed by Amber Midthunder.

Naru is a character burdened by the underestimation of those around her, constantly striving to prove herself. When strange occurrences plague the plains and signal the arrival of a dangerous alien threat, Naru seizes the opportunity to demonstrate her strength and protect her family. The stage is set for a thrilling battle between the skilled warrior and the technologically advanced Predator.

Utilizing the Power of Nature

One of the strengths of Prey lies in Trachtenberg’s masterful use of nature as a prominent element of the story. The vast wilderness becomes a character in its own right, providing Naru with tools and resources to combat her extraterrestrial foe. Through tactical techniques and resourcefulness, Naru creates makeshift traps and weapons, drawing upon the environment’s power.

Trachtenberg’s exceptional cinematography, courtesy of Jeffer Cutter, captures the beauty and danger of the great plains. The combination of Sarah Schachner’s pulsating score and the use of the Comanche language in the dubbed version immerses viewers in the story, adding an essential layer of realism to the sci-fi narrative.

Missed Opportunities and Technical Shortcomings

While Prey succeeds on many fronts, it does stumble in a few areas that slightly diminish its potential. The reliance on CGI for the alien creature creates a disconnect, lacking the tangible presence and impact associated with practical effects. Additionally, some of the animals depicted in the film appear less realistic, dampening the immersion for audiences.

Furthermore, Trachtenberg’s decision to reveal too much about what awaits in the wilderness early on takes away from the element of suspense. Though this misstep could have undermined the film, Trachtenberg’s skillful direction keeps viewers engaged and on the edge of their seats, mitigating the predictability to a certain extent.

An Exploration of Colonialism and Gender Dynamics

Prey delves into thought-provoking themes, particularly the specter of colonialism. Within the context of the predator versus prey dynamic, the alien creature serves as a veiled representation of colonial forces during that time period. The inclusion of French traders, whose untranslated dialogue adds depth, further accentuates this theme.

The film’s exploration of gender dynamics within Naru’s Comanche tribe is also compelling. As she navigates a world dominated by men, Naru strives to prove her abilities by tracking and confronting an unprecedented threat. These nuanced themes add an extra layer of depth to the narrative, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

A Triumph for the Franchise

Despite minor flaws, Prey stands out as the best installment in the Predator franchise to date. Trachtenberg’s tight storytelling, combined with Amber Midthunder’s captivating performance, elevates the film to new heights. While it may lamentably bypass the theatrical experience, the film’s release on Hulu ensures that it will reach a wide audience.

Prey proves to be a relentless and thrilling action-thriller, showcasing Trachtenberg’s talent for revitalizing a franchise. By staying true to the roots of the original while delivering a unique and straightforward narrative, Prey breathes new life into a franchise that too often follows a formulaic path. With its engaging storytelling, expertly shot scenes, and powerful performances, Prey is a must-watch for fans of the genre.


Prey is a shining example of how a skilled director can reinvigorate a stagnant franchise. Through his unique vision, Dan Trachtenberg breathes new life into the Predator series, delivering a captivating and thrilling action-thriller. By combining elements of the original with his own creative twists, Trachtenberg creates an intense and unforgettable experience for audiences.


1. Is Prey a direct sequel to any previous Predator films?

No, Prey takes a fresh approach and serves as a standalone film within the Predator franchise.

2. Does Prey rely heavily on CGI for its visual effects?

While the film does employ CGI for certain elements, the reliance on practical effects is limited, which may impact the overall experience for some viewers.

3. How does Prey explore gender dynamics?

Prey delves into the challenges faced by its protagonist, Naru, as she navigates a male-dominated world and seeks to prove herself as a skilled warrior.

4. Is the film available for streaming?

Yes, Prey is exclusively available for streaming on Hulu.

5. How does Prey compare to other installments in the Predator franchise?

Prey stands out as the best installment in the franchise thus far, thanks to its unique storytelling, compelling themes, and captivating performances.