PREY – Review by Susan Granger

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It has been 35 years since the original sci-fi action thriller Predator (1987) was released – and Prey is a worthy complement to the franchise.

Set in 1719 in the Comanche Nation on the rugged Northern Great Plains, the story revolves around wannabe warrior Naru (Amber Midthunder), who is determined to be recognized by her tribe as a hunter – like her skeptical older brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers).

“Why do you want to hunt?” inquires her mother. “Because you all think I can’t,” Naru replies.

She gets her chance when a hunting party in pursuit of a mountain lion encounters a far more elusive and dangerous beast (former professional basketball player Dane Diliegro), a huge extraterrestrial who can make himself invisible.

“Something scared off that lion,” observant Naru notes, repeating the original film’s best lines: “If it bleeds, we can kill it.”

Determined to confront the Predator, fearless Naru, accompanied by her dog Sarii and armed only with her sharpened tomahawk, goes into ruthless pursuit, following a trail that will lead her into dangerous quicksand and capture by villainous French fur trappers, wielding muskets.

Working from a character-driven, coming-of-age script by Patrick Aison (Jack Ryan), director Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane) goes back to basics without sacrificing exciting, superbly-choreographed action sequences, including Naru’s narrow escape from a voracious bear.

Determined to emphasize Indigenous authenticity, Trachtenberg’s cast consists almost entirely of Native and First Nations actors, while Jeff Cutter’s sweeping cinematography of Stoney Nakota land in Alberta, Canada, and Sarah Schachner’s striking score add to the veracity.

FYI: If 25 year-old Amber Midthunder looks familiar, perhaps you saw her with Liam Neeson in The Ice Road (2021).

On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, Prey is a suspenseful, scary 7, streaming on Hulu & Disney+

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.