Perhaps the most important thing to note about prey is that it doesn’t chase the glory of the original classic. rather this builds on its foundation to say something new. It’s a simple, straightforward cat-and-mouse story like the first film, but the cartoonishly toxic males are replaced by a strong-willed female lead whose most formidable enemy isn’t the predator, but the oppressive tribe she thinks she should be spending her time with. cooking. instead of hunting. the cast is also almost entirely native, which is commendable not only in the context of the predator franchise, but in the film industry as a whole.
2. Predators (2010)
From the first frame to the last, predators is a movie that feels like a roller coaster at full speed. seemingly every moment offers a new plot twist that, in most cases, changes the story entirely. The mystery that hangs over the heads of the group of assassins making their way through the jungle they were literally thrown into is a simple one: where are they and how the hell did they get there? and every little revelation the gang comes across slowly unravels the mystery, in an absolutely gripping and ridiculously entertaining way.
It seems to be the case, at least at this point in the franchise’s history, that predator movies simply work better in the wild, and the jungle in predators is as much a character in the story as it is a stage. There’s danger crawling (or jumping) around every corner, and some of the death and fight scenes are the series’ most memorable: from Hanzo’s (Luis Ozawa) moonlit samurai showdown to Edwin’s (Topher) explosive demise. grace). It’s clear that director Nimród Antal and his team took the time to carefully craft each scene.
adrien brody, alice braga, laurence fishburne, clifton collins jr., mahershala ali, danny trejo… this cast is as solid as it gets, and each one gets a chance to shine. If the film has a weakness, it’s in its final act, where the veil of mystery is lifted, leaving us with an uninspired glimpse into the predator’s social systems that we probably didn’t need. but honestly, it’s hard to criticize predators in any meaningful way. it’s a sensational film that comes very close to beating any other entry on this list.
1. Predator (1987)
Thirty-five years later, the first predator still stands above the rest as the franchise’s reigning champion. John McTiernan’s sci-fi horror classic is so canonized and adored that it’s easy to forget how simple and unadorned it is. It’s a man vs. monster fight to the death in a Central American jungle, and on paper, it’s a good idea, but it’s really nothing to write home about.
but mctiernan’s cinema is so good that the movie doesn’t need bells and whistles to hide behind. the cinematography is also understated, connecting you to the environment and making the action and dialogue easy to follow even though the characters are often spread out in a veritable maze of trees and ferns. the editing is equally fantastic; the way the hunt plays out is as much about suspense as it is about scares, a nuance almost every subsequent sequel glosses over. the sickeningly misogynistic dialogue between crew members throughout the film doesn’t age well, but it’s important to remember that there’s a satirical element to the script (after all, these brothers end up getting disemboweled by a vagina-faced monster).