Prey Movie Review: Raw Intensity

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Rarely does a film surprise us and count "Prey" into that very rare group. This film was raw, simple, and intense. It had a simple goal and it sped through it like an arrow hitting the bullseye as quickly and as efficiently. This film didn't have bloat and didn't need bloat. This was a 90-minute run that we truly enjoyed from first second to last.
In 1719 in the Great Plains, Naru (Amber Midthunder) is a young Comanche woman who is expected to become a healer but actually dreams of becoming a hunter like her brother, Taabe (Dakota Beavers). While on a practice hunt, she witnesses a sight that she has never seen before. An unseen entity has just killed a great bear right in front of her eyes. And as she tries to escape, she realizes that she is the next target of this relentless being. She will have to use all of her skills and wits to defeat and survive from this apex predator.
For a scifi film, "Prey" was very much a grounded film and minus the character of the Predator, you could literally classify this film in the same vein as "The Revenant" in our opinion. It's a period-accurate and highly-believable experience even with its epic action fight scenes that turn up the explosions and gore. But this kind of action was to be expected. What we actually loved about "Prey" was its slower and quieter bits. Even with very little dialogues and exposition from its characters, we really got to know the character of Naru and we felt how she struggled to cope in a world that has already prejudged her for simply being a woman. More than her hunt for the Predator and the hunt of the Predator towards her, we really appreciated the film's simplistic and raw approach and knowing what to give its audience to make understand its point without any unnecessary complications or pompous baggage. In fact, little time and information will be spoken about the Predator that any viewer will enjoy the film even without prior knowledge about the film's roots. 
Additionally, beyond the efficient and excellent writing, Amber Midthunder just stood out and gave a very powerful performance as Naru. It's not award-worthy or anything but she was nuanced with her approach as the brave and courageous young Comanche woman. Another strong point for the film was the combination of its exquisite and beautiful setting and cinematography that just took our breath away time and time again. If we could give one minor criticism about the film, it would be its hectic and slightly rushed climactic fight. And for those who expect a deeper dive into the film's sci-fi lore, expect to be disappointed. As the film's title may imply, this is not about the Predator but it's about Naru. For us though, "Prey" was simply an astounding and heavily-balanced experience. It's both slow and intense, nuanced and action-packed, and historical and fantastical.          
Rating: 5 reels

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