DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com Awards & Recommendations at Amazon.com.
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Dan Trachtenberg
Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Dane DiLiegro
Writing Credits:
Patrick Aison

Comanche warrior Naru fights to protect her tribe against one of the first highly-evolved Predators to land on Earth.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 2.0
Comanche Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 10/3/2023

• Audio Commentary with Director Dan Trachtenberg, Director of Photography Jeff Cutter, Editor Angela M. Catanzaro and Actor Amber Midthunder
• Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
• “Making of Prey” Featurette
• FYC Panel with Cast & Crew


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Prey [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 26, 2024)

After four official Predator films as well as spinoffs, 2022’s Prey takes a different approach to the property. With this one, we get a prequel.

Set in the American west circa 1719, Comanche Naru (Amber Midthunder) shows strong skills as a tracker and a healer, but she wants to work on her combat abilities. These leave her in the shadow of her talented brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers), however.

An opportunity to prove her worth appears during a mountain lion attack, but this comes out in an unexpected way, as this event reveals the presence of an alien Predator in the tribe’s midst. Naru needs to battle against this formidable foe.

Though the franchise has persisted for nearly 40 years, the fact remains Predator never spawned a true blockbuster film. The 1987 original did more than competent business and turned a nice profit due to its fairly low budget, but 12th place at the US box office for the year doesn’t connote major smash.

1990’s Predator 2 fared much less well and made about half of what the prior flick earned three years earlier. With $127 million worldwide off a $40 million budget, 2010’s Predators turned a small profit, but it’s not a good sign that it grossed less in the US than the original made 23 years earlier.

Similar results greeted 2018’s The Predator, as like the 1987 and 2010 films, it took in receipts in the $50 million span during its US run. Foreign sales got it to $160 million worldwide, but with an $88 million budget, it lost money.

Which leads us to Prey, the first movie in the franchise to skip a theatrical run, as it went straight to Disney Plus in August 2022. Did the studio decide to skip multiplexes due to a lack of faith in its box office prospects, did they hope to steer Predator fans to their streaming channel, or did they think they simply think that in an environment where theaters continued to slowly bounce back from COVID, the film made more sense in this alternate format?

Who knows – maybe all three. But after I saw the first four in theaters, I found myself disappointed I couldn’t do the same for Prey.

Now that Prey finally hit shiny little discs and I could see it, did I miss anything remarkable until now? Yeah, as the film presents a strong genre adventure.

On the negative side, Prey can push gender politics a little hard. We get many scenes that depict the dismissive way Taabe and other males in the tribe treat Naru’s combat skills, and these elements can seem tedious.

Not that Prey beats us upside the head with these concepts, so it avoids the “super woke” accusations that some might like to throw at anything affiliated with Disney these days. Still, these themes get a bit stale.

Prey also doesn’t exactly pour on much actual story or character depth – which could act as a negative or a positive dependent on your POV. I’d like a bit more exposition about Naru and her tribe before the action starts, but I don’t find this to come as a major concern.

Actually, those who just want fights fights fights might feel a bit frustrated because it takes its time in this regard. I like this choice, as I feel too many movies refuse to show any patience.

Whereas we meet the Predator pretty early, it doesn’t engage in battle with humans for a good chunk of time. The film manages to develop tension along the way and make the inevitable violence more compelling because we didn’t get sated with that material early.

Once the battles begin in earnest a bit past the film’s halfway mark, Prey really kicks into gear. I admit that the semi-slow launch to the tale made me a bit concerned it’d never get where it needs to go, but the second half proved me wrong.

While not non-stop action the rest of the way, Prey clearly focuses on those elements. It does so with verve and creativity, as it uses its settings well.

I do like the sight of a Predator battle in more primitive times, mainly because those involved lack the same weaponry of the characters from the other films. This forces the humans to find more creative ways to stop the Predator since they don’t boast the weapons of mass destruction found in the prior flicks.

We also get more direct combat this way, and that turns into a positive. Direct hand-to-hand will usually feel more exciting than gunfights, so we get a more visceral sense of the action.

I won’t call Prey a perfect Predator film, but it does well for the genre. It manages to find some new tricks to energize this franchise.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A/ Bonus B

Prey appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This wound up as a terrific presentation.

Sharpness always looked solid. No issues with softness materialized, as we found a tight, well-defined image.

Neither jaggies nor shimmering created concerns, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws remained absent.

Colors occasionally veered a little orange and teal, but they tended toward a more organic sense of blues and greens. The Blu-ray reproduced the tones as intended.

Blacks felt deep and dense, while shadows demonstrated appealing clarity. I felt happy with this top-notch picture.

Even better, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack delivered a rollicking affair. With plenty of action, the soundscape worked overtime.

Of course, these violent scenes became the most involving, but even quieter sequences provided an engaging soundfield. The various channels blended together well and created a seamless sonic image that suited the tale.

Audio quality satisfied, with speech that remained concise and distinctive. Music appeared vibrant and full.

The most important aspect of the track, effects sounded accurate and tight, with stellar low-end. The soundtrack rocked my viewing room and added to the experience.

When we move to extras, we find an audio commentary from writer/director Dan Trachtenberg, director of photography Jeff Cutter, editor Angela M. Catanzaro and actor Amber Midthunder. All four sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters and connections to other films, cast and performances, sets and locations, stunts and action, photography, editing and deleted scenes, various effects, music and sound design, and connected domains.

For the most part, this becomes a satisfying look at the film. We get a few too many oddly silent spaces but the track still gives us a pretty good view of the production.

Three Deleted Scenes fill a total of four minutes, 48 seconds. We find “Alternative Opening Sequence” (1:55), “Big Warrior, Little Warrior” (0:56) and “Treetop Chase” (1:57). The first two offer finished live-action scenes but “Chase” only exists as crude CG pre-vis.

“Opening” and “Warrior” present some minor exposition and seem lackluster. “Chase” would’ve brought an exciting action sequence, however.

Note that the deleted scenes come with commentary from Trachtenberg and cannot be viewed without his remarks. This seems annoying, as it’d be nice to watch the clips with original audio.

At least Trachtenberg adds some insights and lets us know why the shots failed to make the final cut. He acknowledges “Chase” would’ve been thrilling but notes that it would’ve pushed credulity too much, and I agree.

Two featurettes follow, and Making of Prey runs 12 minutes, 17 seconds. It involves notes from Trachtenberg, Midthunder, Cutter, producer Jhane Myers, indigenous trainer Kevin Starblanket, and actor Dakota Beavers.

Here we examine the choice to place the story in the Comanche past, story and characters, cast, training and performances, photography and action, music, Predator design and execution. A few decent notes emerge but most of this reel feels promotional.

An FYC Panel goes for 29 minutes, one second. Along with moderator/filmmaker Barry Jenkins, we hear from Trachtenberg, Midthunder, Catanzaro, Cutter and creature designer Alec Gillis.

The panel looks at inspirations and the take on the Predator franchise as well as cultural facets, cast and performances, editing and photography, Predator design and creation, stunts and action.

The presentation existed to promote the film, so don’t expect a deep look at the film. Still, it comes with a decent mix of thoughts.

With Prey, the Predator franchise finds new life. After a slow start, it becomes a wild ride that satisfies. The Blu-ray comes with excellent picture and audio as well as a pretty good set of supplements. Let’s hope the next Predator film lives up to this one.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 2
0 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main