Dan Trachtenberg made a bold return to form for the “Predator” series in “Prey,” a film that follows a young Comanche warrior seeking to track down the Predator who transformed the forest of the Nation. she became its hunting ground. The streaming-exclusive series is brimming with social dynamics and rich characters. Part westerns, part creature features, and all the gory action, the film successfully examines all the things that make a “Predator” movie great. More than that, the film tells an intimate story of a hunter in a society that despises her because of her gender. Despite the objections and indifference of some of her peers, her perseverance and belief in herself carry her throughout the film.
The overarching story of “Prey” is tied together by one tradition: “Kühtaamia.” Trachtenberg cleverly combined the Comanche Nation setting with the hunting motif that is present in every “Predator” movie, resulting in an engaging and thrilling story with a beating heart at the center, feeling like a celebration. history of an underrepresented people as well as a hit** survival thriller. The ending of “Prey” is an action-packed calculation, full of intriguing twists and turns and an emotional ending. Let’s take a closer look at that last hunt, and what led to it.
A deadly rite of passage
From the opening of “Prey” we can see the community of Comanche Nation in action. The Predator’s ship drops the alien hunter, leaving a red streak in the sky that our protagonist, Naru (Amber Midthunder), sees. Naru takes this red streak as a sign, telling her brother many things; it’s time for her to join Kühtaamia. Kühtaamia is a rite of passage for someone to become a warrior or hunter. A hunt in which your target animal is hunting you back immediately. Unbeknownst to Naru, the sign she saw in the sky was more literal than she realized. The entirety of “Prey” can be seen as a build-up to this ritual, though no character really knows about it until the movie comes to a bloody end.
The film’s deep ties to the Comanche Nation can be credited to writer Patrick Aison, director Dan Trachtenberg (who co-wrote the story), and producer Jhane Myers, Comanche himself. Without a doubt, her role as a producer contributed in part to the amount of representation displayed in the film. It is also not a token representation, as Comanche culture and history is deeply seeded in the thematic elements of “Prey”. It’s all about the hunt. Unlike other “Predator” movies, however, there are literal Comanche hunters on display in this period piece, whose traditions and fighting styles are very grounded in actual history. .
Hunting for hunters
Throughout the film, Naru believes her true Kühtaamia is with the Predator, especially after her lion hunt ends with her being knocked unconscious. The events of the film are Naru’s trial, going through various encounters with the Predator and getting a better understanding of how the creature works. Not only does this provide the film with intense action sequences brimming with (sometimes a bit too much) CGI blood, but we also see Naru use his dexterity and strength to escape Predator with his teeth. Unfortunately, her peers and hunters don’t believe her stories of a strange new animal, with infighting leading to an ill-timed Predator attack that leaves her alone. was one of the few survivors.
Naru’s brother, Taabe, finally sees Predator with his own eyes, realizing it’s what Naru has been following all this time. Naru’s relationship with her brother has been the crux of the film so far, with his contribution and wisdom helping to fuel the young warrior as she inspires him to become a better leaders for their people. A heartfelt moment at the beginning of the film is where Taabe encourages her to “bring it home”, a reference to the lion she unsuccessfully hunted. His words returned once more, just before he died at the hands of the Predator. With Naru’s only moral support gone, she is forced to dig even deeper into her own power and find a way to surpass and prey on the Predator, eventually killing it.
A visceral battle
The revisionist theme of “Prey” becomes especially evident in the film’s fast-paced third act, allowing Naru and her hunt to become an iconic victory for the Nation. Comanche. Look no further than her bait, a burly fur trap whose crew was wiped out by the Predator in an earlier action scene. Giving the fur trapper an unmolested gun, Naru takes revenge on the trappers who kidnapped her brother and places him in the Predator’s chair in the first place. The Predator kills the fur trapper, unable to see Naru’s body temperature, which she lowers using the local flora. Naru uses every encounter with the Predator up to that point as a way to counter the alien tools and methods of hunting. The third act is an organ hunt, a deadly game of cat and mouse cleverly put together by Tratchenberg, with Naru outrunning the Predator at nearly every turn.
The final hunt is the film’s most thrilling and brutal battle, where the film’s tight script employs many callbacks, such as Taabe’s earlier line about strategic use. of Kühtaamia and Naru for a mud pit from which she had previously escaped. As the Predator got stuck in the mud and lost an arm, Naru mumbled the words her brother had taught her, to the prey now in her sights: “This is as far as you go. No more. more. This is it.” It was a powerful all-round moment that made her victory over the Predator even more personal and daring.
A serious underestimation
This final encounter with the Predator – and the creature’s death by its own tracking helmet – is what “Predator” led to. Throughout the movie, Naru is underrated at almost every turn, whether it’s by her co-star Comanche, the fur trappers, or even her brother. With this final confrontation, she is once again underrated, and Naru uses it to her advantage. Throughout the movie, Predator is repeatedly shown to be overwhelmingly stronger than Naru, she used her quick reflexes and smaller stature to throw Predator out of balance, even Naru hitting Steal the Predator’s spear and defeat the creature.
The Predator was too dependent on the helmet at its disposal, using its tracking mechanism to kill many of Naru’s Comanche colleagues. However, Naru’s ingenious plan to trap the alien hunter in the mud pit she was previously trapped in and trick it into using its targeting system led Predator to the ironically die. This macabre ending is a testament to Naru’s keen observation skills in the film and shows that she’s a force to be reckoned with. Underestimating Naru is the Predator’s final – and fatal – mistake.
End of the hunt
At 1 hour and 40 minutes in length, “Prey” is a fast-paced and tightly scripted film. Trachtenberg wastes no space in telling Naru’s story, focusing entirely on this one fierce hunt. Comanche Nation prides itself on being at the forefront of it all, laying the groundwork for conflict into tradition, honoring its people’s rich history, and offering viewers the chance to educate themselves about the indigenous culture. (The fact that there was Comanche dubbing for the film was a particularly interesting addition.)
The ending shows Naru in the neon green blood of the Predator, with its head in hand. The moment is bittersweet, because while Naru was able to outrun the Predator, the terror it inflicted on her Clan and fur trappers left many of her fellow warriors. die. Despite all that, Naru has completed Kühtaamia, and now she seeks to protect her people, warning them of trappers in the area. While this hunt may be over, it certainly won’t be the last struggle for Naru and her people. Her future can still be explored further.
Naru’s role moves forward
Where Naru’s story will go is anyone’s guess. Amber Midthunder presents a compelling character capable of continuing her journey thanks to Comanche’s social dynamics in the film. With so many people dying after the creature’s arrival, it only makes sense for Naru to take on a more leadership role in her tribe – even if women traditionally don’t take on the role of warriors in the culture. actual Comanche culture of that period. After all, if she could outwit a ruthless alien hunter, perhaps her tribe would be willing to break with tradition. It will certainly be a continuation of the revisionism that the film has established up to that point.
With the ending depicting the arrival of more Predator ships and the film ending with Naru and her people needing a new home, there’s room for a potential follow-up story. Now that Naru has proven more than a fighter himself, it will be interesting to see if Naru helps lead the way in the potential struggles ahead. For now, however, “Prey” ends the story with the end of Kühtaamia, and Naru is honored by her tribe. It’s a touching moment that reflects the honors her brother Taabe has received many times before in the film after finishing off the lion.
“Why do you want to hunt?” Naru’s mother asks her daughter in the opening minute. “Because you all think I can’t,” Naru replied. Our heroine begins the film wishing to be seen as a brother and fellow warriors, and ends the film triumphantly returning to her camp with her head cut off. cut by a hunter in another world. Predator has officially fallen prey.
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