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Photo: ‘Prey’

Director Dan Trachtenberg takes a new challenge of making ‘Prey’, the latest prequel and the fifth installment of the ‘Predator’ series. What makes the new Predator film fascinating is how it deals with the creature’s encounter with the Comanche nation 300 years ago. Not only will it fascinate Predator fans, but it will also intrigue historians and make them wonder why the filmmakers decided to make the newest Predator film a period science fiction/action film. Before this movie, Dan Trachtenberg made his directorial debut by making ‘10 Cloverfield Lane,’ the second film of the ‘Cloverfield’ franchise. He also worked on directing an episode on each of the shows: ‘Black Mirror,’ ‘The Boys,’ and a pilot of ‘The Lost Symbol.’ Since he contributed to making the second ‘Cloverfield’ movie a success, he is also trusted to install the newest ‘Predator’ film.

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The movie does a good job of showing female empowerment by having a woman as the lead character. This tactic has not been shown since ‘Alien vs. Predator.’ The movie features Naru, a young Comanche who wants her tribe to consider her as a warrior. However, she is trained as a healer, and most of them want her to heal wounded male Comanches. Even her own mother Aruak tells Naru that her healing abilities are too good. Therefore, she discourages her from hunting with her brother and his clan. If Naru would have been killed while hunting, the tribe would lose a healer. Throughout the film, she attempts to show the male Comanches that she too can be a hunter like them. She observes her brother Taabe and his skills as a hunter. Since Naru is aware that an advanced Predator is hiding in their forests and other areas of land, she is tempted to take down the creature and prove to herself that she can be a hunter too. This film does a good job of establishing male dominance which serves as an obstacle for Naru to overcome. The film even demonstrates male French Voyageurs who use Naru and her brother Taabe as bait for the Predator. However, both the male Voyageurs and Comanches’ titles of being hunters are threatened by the existence of the creature and its nature to hunt the hunted. The fascinating plot makes the viewer debate who truly is the prey which is the given title of the story.

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Why Sci-fi Fans Love Predator

‘Predator’ has been cinema’s favorite movie monster along with the Xenomorph creature of the Alien series. The Predator is an iconic movie villain that is known to hunt humans that attack other human beings. If the average person would see the Predator in the flesh, he or she would run away from the creature. Therefore, the Predator would not see the victim as a threat. It will only hunt humans that would attempt to kill the creature itself. The creature’s existence is a reminder of human violence and how a bigger entity can remind them that a figure can reflect on the killings that are committed. Its weaponry is fascinating to look at. It uses laser beams, sharp objects, and even explosives to kill its prey. It wears a mask to hide its grotesque face and to help target his beams or arrows to its prey. The concept of being hunted by a dangerous extraterrestrial entity will always fascinate the average sci-fi fan.

Predator Movies in the Past

 Before ‘Prey’ happened, there have been some Predator movies that have been released. In 1987, there was ‘Predator’ with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film had an interesting plot that took place in a Central American jungle. Arnold’s character was a soldier that led a special force op to rescue missing airmen that were kidnapped by terrorists. However, the Predator was able to recognize their heroic attempts and decided to hunt him and his crew. The film was directed by John McTiernan who later directed Die Hard and the third installment of the ‘Die Hard’ series, ‘Die Hard With a Vengeance.’

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In 1990, ‘Predator 2’ was released. The story took place in 1997 in Downtown Los Angeles. A different predator creature was observing the violence in the city. The Los Angeles Police Department was at war with the Jamaican and Colombian drug cartels. The creature decides to be in the middle of the violence of all three and collect their skulls as trophies. An LAPD officer, Lieutenant Mike Harrigan (played by Danny Glover), makes it his mission to stop the Predator from hunting humans.

Twenty years later, ‘Predators’ became the third installment of the series in 2010. It stars Adrien Brody as a U.S. Special Operations Forces veteran turned mercenary who leads a group of other mercenaries and assassins. They find themselves kidnapped and sent to an unidentified jungle on an alien planet. They all work together to fight off a group of Predators and other creatures and find a way to planet Earth. The film serves as a direct sequel of the first Predator movie even though it is the third film of the series.

The Predator’ was released in 2018. It tells the tale of a United States Army Ranger, Quinn McKenna (played by Boyd Holbrook), and a group of PTSD-stricken soldiers that join to eliminate a pair of Predators and prevent them from invading the planet.

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‘Prey’

Dan Trachtenberg took an interesting approach by making a prequel for one of the biggest and most successful sci-fi action franchises in cinema. The use of a historical setting through the creature’s confrontation with the Comanches has given the ‘Predator’ saga a more profound and fresh look at the character’s origins. Having a female protagonist was able to give importance to ‘female empowerment in horror films.’ Therefore, female audiences and male audiences will appreciate how it broke the systematic heroic male-protagonist approach that the four ‘Predator’ movies have taken in the past three decades (unlike ‘Alien vs. Predator,’ a crossover film of the ‘Alien’ and ‘Predator’ franchises). The 2022 movie kept the traditional plot device of having the Predator hunt human beings and attempting to show dominance over human beings. Prey is an impressive sci-fi-action flick that will be enjoyed by die-hard fans of the ‘Predator’ series. It is now available for streaming on Hulu.

By Marco Castaneda

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.

I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV, media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.

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Author

  • Marco Castaneda is a graduate student at the California State University, Los Angeles. He is currently pursuing his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Television, Film, and Theatre, and expects to graduate in the Spring of 2023. He has a strong passion for creating stories as well as reading them. Marco believes that art helps people to give a unique perspective of our lives and the lives of others. He is also currently a substitute teacher for K-12th grade and hopes to teach students how to use their creativity through all aspects and subjects of their lives and not to be afraid of using their talents.

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