In the Comanche territories of 1719, the young Naru tries to prove herself as a hunter equal to the young males of the community, led by her brother Taabe. She gets her chance when she, following them stealthily, joins a lion hunting expedition. Along the way she comes across the tracks of another more dangerous predator, but she can’t convince anyone that she’s not just a simple bear. Coming from another world, this predator is all too real, determined to seek hunting challenges worthy of itself and protected by stealth technology that makes it almost invisible. His technological superiority seems insurmountable not only to the Comanches, but also to a bunch of despicable Francophone trappers…
Prequel to Predator with an unlikely setting, Prey performs a great little miracle and brings the franchise back to the brutality of its origins, in a tense and dry story.
Signed by Dan Trachtenberg, already author of the best of the chapters of the sci-fi anthology by J.J. Abrams: 10 Cloverfield Lane. Trachtenberg, in his second feature film, does not betray his passion for B-Movies with strong and contained ideas, nor for violence – practiced for example in the pilot of the series The Boys. The Prey of him takes place entirely in the forest, full of suggestive scenery between large trees silhouetted against the night sky or immersed in the morning mist.
The story is concentrated in a few days, more or less one per act, creating a strong sense of time also due to the almost total adherence to the protagonist’s point of view. The lion hunt, for example, ends abruptly when she loses consciousness, leaving the viewer to discover what happened next with Naru. Similarly, while the young woman is dealing with a bear, the suspense is not dilated by showing us what happens elsewhere and remains instead on the visceral events in which Naru participates or which she witnesses. The pinnacle of this strategy is a long shot, which arrives in the last part of the film and sees the protagonist fighting various trappers – moreover, much less sporty than the alien in hunting.
The Predator, as in the original film, is revealed piece by piece in the course of Prey, and is therefore an often invisible presence but for this reason even more frightening. Furthermore Trachtenberg finds a way to “stage” it through the environment, for example by wetting it in a stream or soiling it with blood. In one of the best sequences the Comanches flee from him in the tall grass and the alien manifests itself from above as a trail that quickly forms in the grass, chasing the natives.
Even the most passionate audience of the Predator saga will have its surprises from this progressive unveiling, given that it is a precursor of the alien that arrived on Earth two and a half centuries earlier and faced by Schwarzenegger, therefore equipped with weapons and armor sometimes different. Prey thus gives a sense to its setting in past centuries, regenerating a little mystery around the famous antagonist.

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