Prey is out and it has Predator fans excited about the movie franchise again.
When it comes to fandoms, none has been experiencing such a dire quality drought as Predator movie fans. In the eyes of the more extreme purists in the fanbase, there’s hardly been any good movie in the series since the first one, while others consider that only the first two Predator flicks exist.
Whatever the case, it’s hard to deny that the franchise has seen its fair share of rough patches over the decades, culminating in the dumpster fire of epic proportions that is 2018’s The Predator. The first trailers and promotional materials for Prey weren’t looking so hot, either, prompting some fans to believe that the franchise was indeed irredeemably dead.
Flash forward a few months into the future to the present day, and we’re seeing what many fans call the best Predator film since Arnie went head to head with the creature in 1987. Yes, even better than the apparent swan song that was Predators. The movie is simply that good.
It’s not without its fair of flaws, mind you – no action flick really is. That said, for what it is and for what has come before, Prey reignites the flames of the original movie’s action sensibilities, elevating the franchise to its cult-like status as it once was. Still, the question remains: is a single film truly capable of bringing back a franchise from its shallow grave?
The damage done by The Predator to the franchise’s name is hard to overlook. For many young fans, the 2018 movie might have been the first time they were exposed to the iconic film monster, and it happened to be one of the dullest, most pointless action flicks ever produced.
The decision to turn Prey into a sequel not to the original film, but as an event set before the “first” predator ever set foot on Earth is a risky choice. For more proof, just look at how divisive Prometheus has become among Alien fans for doing the exact same thing that Prey did.
The difference here is that, while Prometheus took the basic Alien formula and added an extra layer of philosophical discourse, Prey delivers on the same intense action and over-the-top violence that fans of the series are looking for in any great Predator film.
Another area where Prey outsmarts The Predator is that the latter teased audiences with the possibility of the movie eventually becoming a Marvel-like cinematic universe – complete with a knock-off War Machine armour and all. While Prey does contain a cleverly hidden sequel hook near the end of the credits, it could very well stand on its own as a film without the need of the rest of the Predator franchise – let alone a cinematic universe.
Still, something that would certainly have helped the Predator franchise as a whole would have been if Preyhad seen a proper theatre release. Considering the positive buzz surrounding the film on social media, it would be more than reasonable to think that the movie might make it to theatres at some point. After all, Morbius was released twice, and no one liked that movie, with or without Morbin’ Time memes.
Whether or not Prey has effectively saved the franchise from being shelved for good it’s something that remains to be seen. That said, Prey has managed to do something that we haven’t seen in a good while: it gained some goodwill with Predator fans, also managing to reintroduce the legendary monster into mainstream pop culture once again.
Hulu‘s Prey is a Predator movie for a new generation of fans – but it’s one that clearly understands the minute details that turned the original flick into such an iconic action/horror classic.
What do you think, has Prey saved the Predator movie franchise?