Prey Movie Review: An Intense and Heart-Pounding Thriller

Prey movie review
Prey movie review: Not without my dog

Prey is an intense and heart-pounding thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The sci-fi action film directed by Dan Trachtenberg (known for 10 Cloverfield Lane), is a thrilling prequel to the classic “Predator” franchise. The movie reimagines humanity’s first confrontation with Predator who we first saw in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s blockbuster from the 1980s.

In a world of endless sequels and recycled storylines, Prey stands out as it captivates and thrills without sacrificing character development. The very first scene draws you in and makes you care about the fate of its protagonists.

Prey movie review

The plot is simple: 300 years ago, a native American tribe is visited by the most vicious hunter in the universe, Predator. Comanche Nation’s proficient tracker, Naru (Amber Midthunder) yearns to be respected just like her tribesman. Subject to mocking from men, including her brother, Taabe (Dakota Beavers). Naru is our heroine to root for along with her loyal canine companion, Sarii (Coco).

Naru’s demure appearance may lack in brawn but her keen eye is the first to detect a foreign presence in their land. She proves herself to be tougher and more aware of her surroundings. Sarii, the dog, shows the unyielding spirit of the canine heart and is a worthy sidekick in this tale of survival. In fact, I found myself more invested in their well-being than I had been in any Predator films.

An interesting relationship dynamic is that between Naru and her brother Taabe – it evolves from stereotypical sibling wars to joining forces against the extra-terrestrial devil incarnate.

The cast is almost all native American and there’s also a version of the movie in the Comanche language.

Trachtenberg’s direction creates a palpable sense of dread and tension that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. The storytelling has characters that audiences can connect with and the music by Sarah Schachner complements the cinematography. The breathtaking screenplay by Patrick Aison immerses the viewer in the pristine Alberta scenery. A Hulu release (available on Disney Hotstar in India), Prey deserved the big screen experience – the whole sequence with the French trappers against the Predator would have made for a riveting watch in the theater.

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“Prey” remains an expertly crafted horror film that delivers thrills and suspense throughout. This concoction is rare for action films and John Wick comes to mind. Fans of the Predator series will appreciate the film’s nods to the classic series, while newcomers will find themselves engrossed in the intense and suspenseful narrative.

“Prey” breathes a fresh lease of life to the stale fest that the Predator franchise had become in later years. Trachtenberg’s direction, coupled with exceptional performances and stunning visuals, make this a thrilling cinematic experience. 

The action feels authentic and advances the plot. Redesigning an iconic character like Predator was a daring move, but it paid off. The Predator in Prey (played by Dane DiLiegro) is less advanced, using outdated technology’ compared to its 1987 predecessor. This explains how a teenager managed to defeat a Predator that even a highly trained paramilitary team failed to control in the original Predator.

Prey pays homage to the original by staying true to its roots – resetting to where the wild things are. It also has a nostalgic nod to the iconic line, ‘if it bleeds, we can kill it’.

Why are we dogs talking about a creature horror movie?

Well, it stars a canine star who was a resident in an animal shelter. 

In 2021, a four-legged darling by the name of Coco was waiting for her forever home in Fulton County Animal Services. Unbeknownst to her, fate had other plans in store for the sweet pup. Little did Coco know that she would soon be rubbing shoulders with Hollywood’s elite and making waves in the movie industry.

Coco is an American dingo aka Carolina Dog. The film makers wanted a breed from the period the movie is set in but only a few domesticated breeds today were around 300 years ago in the plains of North America.

Coco was adopted for a film role, even though she had no prior acting experience, but natural charisma. She landed the role of Sarii and quickly became a favourite on set. Her performance in Prey won fans over and she was nicknamed the “Meryl Streep of dogs”.

prey movie dog
The hero dog from ‘Prey’

Director Dan Trachtenberg was so impressed by Coco’s performance that he expanded her role in the film. Actress Amber Midthunder, who co-stars in the movie Prey with Coco, described her as a “little bit of a hot mess – but in a sweet way.” Despite needing some extra attention on set, Coco’s infectious joy and playful nature won over the cast and crew.

Coco’s journey from shelter life to the silver screen is a remarkable testament to the potential and talent of shelter dogs. All they need is a chance, and Coco proved that with love, patience, and perseverance, shelter pets can achieve great things. Coco’s story shows how wonderful things can happen when you give a homeless animal a chance. Here’s hoping her heroics will inspire more people to consider adopting shelter pets.

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