The 5 Coolest Moments In Prey

Warning: this article contains spoilers for "Prey."

The 1700s is more than a creative backdrop for "Prey," it's a setting that lets director Dan Trachtenberg craft a bloody tale of revisionist history with the Comanche Nation at its center. The movie isn't short on good character work thrills, and of course, intense game hunting. "Prey" could be considered a return to form for the "Predator" franchise following the slight misstep of Shane Black's 2018 "The Predator." The film follows Nauru (Amber Midthunder), a Comanche hunter and tracker who begins to track a Predator that has started to hunt game, looking for the ultimate opponent to test its prowess.

"Prey" is filled with moving pieces that give us a "Predator" film with layers. However, that doesn't mean the movie is short on action. On the contrary, "Prey" gives viewers some of the most remarkable moments in the "Predator" franchise that not only contain some clever and well-choreographed action but helps to elevate the stakes of the film and make its characters feel real. This list contains the five coolest moments in "Prey" that highlight the film's tight script and solid direction.

The Predator works its way up the food chain

This "moment" is a bit of a cheat, as this is a collection of moments instead of one singular moment. However, they all serve the same purpose: to show the Predator (portrayed brilliantly by Dane DiLiegro) working its way through the food chain. Each moment shows the Predator tackling a bigger prey than before, and each is stylized to show its brutality and efficiency in its hunting. The first comes in a moment where the Predator skins a snake, and the second involves interrupting a wolf in the middle of its hunt before facing off with it, briefly showing off the process of transforming the wolf's skull into a trophy.

The best is saved for last, as the Predator interrupts a bear trying to kill Naru. What follows is the Predator and the bear engaging it in what looks like a highly bloody wrestling match. As the bear violently brings down the Predator, the Predator gets back up and knocks it out in a single blow, bathing itself in the animal's blood. The sequence is shot from Naru's point of view, and it's a terrifying display of the Predator's resolve while also showing viewers that it will take a lot more than just brute strength to take down the creature of this film. The Predator is all about the hunt, and "Prey" makes that evident with almost every facet of its film. 

Naru enters the lions den

One of the first hunting sequences in "Prey" is a tense and thrilling scene. Serving thrills and character work, Naru and other hunters setting a trap for a lion help set the stage for the social dynamics at play for the rest of "Prey." It's an excellent tone setter that helps to tease what viewers should expect from the rest of the film.

Moreover, the night scene is excellently shot and brings in some nice scares as Naru is forced off the edge of a branch by a lion. Much like the scenes of Predator killing all sorts of wildlife, this hunting scene helps to demonstrate Naru's tenacity and bravery in imminent danger, though it doesn't work out too well for her this time around.

Naru fails to finish off the lion, and it's a critical moment for her character as the unfinished kill looms over her for the rest of the film. Her drive to track down the Predator stems from this first hunt, setting in motion the rest of the events that follow. An action scene serving the character work before anything else will be a recurring pattern in "Prey," with the thrills and tension all being part of a bigger purpose while still entertaining.

The Predator traps the fur trappers

This sequence starts towards the end of the film's second act and is undoubtedly one of the coolest moments of "Prey." Following Naru and her brother Taabe being captured and used as bait by fur trappers, the Predator opts to go after a game that fights back. The revisionist history genre of the film begins to seep into "Prey" at this point, and Trachtenberg wastes no time in using the period of the film and the Predator's array of alien technology to give these fur trappers some comeuppance. 

The foggy forest backdrop provides the scene with a horror tinge while also putting on display the acrobatic skills of the Predator as it hops from tree to tree. It attacks using flying disk bombs, nets, and a shield to overpower and kill the fur trappers. The Predator then steps out of his camouflage to deliver some of the most brutal kills of the film.

In between the mayhem of this scene is a touching moment between Naru and her brother Taabe. Tied together against the stump of a tree, the two work out their differences in a beautiful moment, with Taabe acknowledging his sister's capableness and strength and Naru figuring out a way for the two to escape the carnage. Trachtenberg uses the situation to show the Predator doing what it does best while throwing in some character work that raises the emotional stakes for good measure. This scene best exemplifies "Prey," balancing great action and solid character work.

Naru versus the trappers

This moment is just a celebration of Amber Midthunder as an incredible actor and leading hero for a "Predator" film. Midthunder as Naru shows some of her physicality in a well-shot and incredibly engaging fight sequence that sees Naru returning to the fur trappers' camp to rescue her dog. In this scene, Naru puts her customized ax to good use. Outnumbered and outgunned, Naru uses her ingenuity and strength to outsmart the trappers. The fight scene isn't overly edited and is just another example of many that show "Prey" as a "Predator" film with a solid grasp on its action.

The Predator in this film isn't the only one that gets to show off or kill fur trappers. The trappers, at that point, had been nothing but a nuisance. Their offscreen presence was visible through the skinned buffalo left to rot in their wake. Naru and her dog are left as victims of their traps at several points in the film as well. Their destructive presence inevitably led to a three-way confrontation between themselves, Naru, and the Predator. The trappers using Naru and her brother as bait was the last straw, with Naru escaping and returning to their camp. Naru swinging and recalling her ax with the rope she tied to it while expertly evading the knives and guns of the trappers shows Midthunder's dedication to the role's physicality while also foreshadowing the skills Naru would put to use in her inevitable showdown with the Predator.

Naru turns the Predator into prey

The final fight in the film is probably the best that "Prey" has to offer. Not only is it filled with the creativity and intensity of the rest of the fights before it, but is the movie's emotional crux. Throughout "Prey," Naru had been fighting to prove herself to others. From the story's beginning hunt, which saw her and her brother attempting to kill a lion, she's told to "bring it home" and get the job done. Her brother mutters these words to her one more time before getting killed by the Predator, making this last hunt much more emotional than the usual third-act "Predator" fights. Moreover, Naru again displays her ingenuity in traps she sets for the Predator.

Throughout the film, the Predator had been displayed with incredible brute strength and efficiency with every gadget it had at its disposal. The seemingly impossible odds would be flipped on their head, with Naru using the environment she knows to her advantage. Moreover, her smaller stature allows her to evade the Predator skillfully, even taking its helmet. This final confrontation is a testament to "Prey's" tight script, with no scene feeling extraneous: Calling back to a moment much earlier in the film, which saw Naru nearly drown in a mud pit, the Predator is similarly trapped. Naru then killing it with its own targeting helmet is a stroke of genius.