7 Movies To Watch After Prey

The newest entry in the "Predator" franchise, "Prey," is now available to stream via Hulu. It's a historically set feature following a young Comanche woman Naru as her hunting quest leads to the discovery of a Yautja, the ultimate alien predator species that has vanquished many a foe. Naru and her trusty canine have to protect her people from this alien menace at all costs. A shift to the past really works for the franchise, and Naru, the young monster-hunting woman at its center, is one of the coolest characters in recent action-horror history.

"Prey" is the strongest "Predator" franchise outing since the original.  If you want to celebrate the premiere of another solid, violent sci-fi-action-horror Yautja hunt, there are four other canonical "Predator" films to watch (and two "Alien vs. Predator" crossovers). If "Prey" has your adrenaline roaring and you want to take a cinematic road less traveled by, however, there are many other films that you're almost certain to love. Whether you want to see massacred zombies, slaughtered giants, conquered aliens, or a Joulupukki having a bad, bad day, here are seven films you need to watch after "Prey."

Aliens (1986)

With her clever, talented war against a Yautja, Naru easily joins the ranks of many badass monster-hunting women in film history. Of course, one can't even make that list without including Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the protagonist of the first four films of the Alien franchise. She's surely a classic horror heroine throughout the series, but nowhere is her alien monster-hunting prowess more showcased than James Cameron's 1986 sci-fi-action-horror classic "Aliens." 

The film sees Ripley accompany a cadre of space-bound Colonial Marines en route to a human colony on exomoon LV-426. The now-quiet colony has become overrun with Xenomorphs, and Ripley and crew have to save survivors and escape the alien menace, including the massive Xenomorph Queen. It's full of great moments, one-liners, badassery, and Ripley being the smartest person in the room.

While Naru's story involves an important rite of passage and Ripley's doesn't, both are intelligent, determined women that use a combination of brains and skill to protect those who need it from alien menaces. They also both showcase a well built-up conflict between said protagonists and some of the coolest alien baddies to hit the screen. Both the Yautja/Predators and the Xenomorphs are two of film history's coolest extraterrestrial menaces, and each of these films has a heroine who is completely up to the task of taking them out in a sci-fi-action-horror landscape.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)

In "Rare Exports," Finnish director Jalmari Helander follows up a set of short films to take us to Lapland (now known as Sápmi), where an American businessman has paid a pretty penny to send teams to unearth the mythical Joulupukki (a creepy, horned figure that, in the film's lore, Santa myths may derive from). The creature has long ago been imprisoned in the ice by ancient Sámi people, and the foolish Americans' dig has threatened to awaken the massive thing while agitating the beast's eerie elves. Young boys Juuso and Pietari have to get to the bottom of a series of associated reindeer deaths before the Joulupukki, which is rumored to kill misbehaving children, is awakened. 

Of course, the film follows boys instead of a young Native woman while taking place in another time and on another continent, but they're similarly forced to combat otherworldly creatures to save their community using ingenuity. Also like "Prey," "Rare Exports" has colonizing forces rubbing up against both the local community and the creatures in a dangerous three-way enmity standoff. It's also worth noting that the film's background notes that the local Sámi people were responsible for defeating the Joulpukki perhaps thousands of years ago with their traditional local weapons and smarts, so a "Prey"-like dynamic is woven into the film's background as much as its present. And like "Prey," it's a total blast. You'll dig it.

Mohawk (2017)

If "Prey" is your jam because you like action-horror stories about young, badass Native American women who defend their tribe against villains out for blood, writer-director Ted Geoghegan's "Mohawk" will be your speed. The film centers on protagonist and Mohawk warrior Oak (Tiio Horn) and two companions who are on the run against a band of violent military survivors, themselves hell-bent on revenge for a deadly camp attack from Oak's Mohawk companion, Calvin (Justin Rain). "Mohawk," another solid outing from the "We Are Still Here" director, is a solid, well performed, tense action-thriller with stunning action sequences.

It's not science fiction, sure, and all the "monsters" are decidedly human, but Oak's incredible and unyielding campaign of violent revenge is something that "Prey" fans won't want to miss. It has some broad similarities in theme and setting, and both films proudly center Native American communities and protagonists willing to overcome all odds in a tight, action-heavy film. If you like anything about "Prey" beyond its existence as a "Predator" franchise film, "Mohawk" will be a treat you can't afford to miss.

Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)

I know, I know, you must be thinking "another Christmas monster-movie on a list of films to watch after "Prey?"" This is another one worth your time, I promise. Picture "High School Musical," or "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series." Any happy movie musical where teens break into random singing will do. Now imagine that their regular songstering is interrupted by zombies. Still with me? Now imagine 17-year-old Anna (Ella Hunt) wants to vacate a tiny town and make something of herself in the world, but, you know, zombies invade. It's a fun musical-comedy-horror film starring a coming-of-age teen wanting to find her way in the world, when it's interrupted by community-endangering monsters!

If you LOVE "Prey," but regularly finding yourself saying things like "why aren't the Yautja zombies?" and "why isn't anyone in "Prey" singing? I want them to sing," then "Anna and the Apocalypse" is exactly your cup of rhetorical tea. Hell, even if "Prey" is EXACTLY your jam, there are still a number of fun aspects of "Anna and the Apocalypse" that will leave you singing, dancing, and waiting to bash a monster's head in. At its core, however, is a story of a young woman who has to bash through beasties while coming-of-age. In short, it has a lot in common with "Prey," but it's a lot of whimsical musical fun.

I Kill Giants (2018)

Anders Walter's "I Kill Giants," based on Joe Kelly and J.M. Ken Niimura's graphic novel, centers on Barbara Thorson (Madison Wolfe), an odd duck young teen girl who skates by in school while her older sister Karen (Imogen Poots) works and puts food on the table. Oh yeah, and Barbara believes that she regularly goes on excursions to save the town from an infestation of giants, which she takes down with her mystical hammer "Covaleski." You know, the usual coming-of-age experience.

It's a very different kind of film than "Prey" at face value. "I Kill Giants" very clearly uses giants and giant-slaying as coping strategies and metaphors for the girl's own familial trauma. Unlike "Prey" and its very real, very dangerous monster, "I Kill Giants" keeps the reality of the giants ambiguous, leaning against their existence for the bulk of the film before possibly suggesting their reality later in the film with the seeming introduction of a couple factors that are more difficult to explain. At the same time, it's an interesting outing about a coming-of-age young teen dedicated to slaying monsters, and it's a fun time. It's also worth noting that "I Kill Giants" boasts the line "if you don't walk away right now, I will do things to you that will make God cry," a line that deserves a place on any list.

Slash/Back (2022)

We're lucky "Prey" is such a solid action-sci-fi-horror outing with a stellar young Indigenous woman as its protagonist, and if you want another film that proudly centers smart young women using brains and tactics to overcome extraterrestrial monsters, do I have a film for you. Nyla Innuksuk's "Slash/Back" follows a set of teenagers who find that their arctic town of Pangnirtung has become overrun with body-snatching aliens. They use their knowledge of Inuit weaponry and horror films to combat the alien menace.

It's less of a horror film than "Prey," but it's sure a fun sci-fi action outing, with a set of modern, proud Inuit teens kicking alien monster butt and taking ... well, they're kicking too much butt to take names. It also has a smart, tactical edge as well, and it's a fun watch for "Prey" fans who love watching Naru outsmart the Yautja baddie. Like "Prey," it also proudly centers Native communities and peoples, with traditional weaponry being creatively used to take down advanced, deadly alien species (and the aliens in "Slash/Back" are creatively used and designed). Finally, there's a refrain that extraterrestrials would be wise to heed: "nobody f***s with the girls from Pang." Some alien menaces do, and like they discovered in "Prey," it was a bad choice.

The Princess (2022)

2022 was a pretty solid year for young women unequivocally kicking the ass of anything that threatens their community. If you love that dynamic but you don't need to follow with monsters or sci-fi, and you particularly love action-heavy period films that went straight to streaming despite absolutely being stellar movies that should have gotten theatrical releases in 2022, don't miss out on "The Princess."

"The Princess" stars Joey King as a young princess whose kingdom has been taken by Tyrant Julius (Dominic Cooper). Julius is exactly that dude who's like "your daughter will marry me so I can take your kingdom and have heirs, or else I'll murder everyone in a five-mile radius." Just like how the Yautja in "Prey" didn't count on Naru ripping off a mandible and stabbing his face with his own face, Julius didn't count on King's Princess knowing "The Raid"-level martial arts, descending down a tower and cutting down every evil dude in her eyeline. 

While "Prey" has a stronger commitment to realism and "The Princess" feels more like that video game you wanted on PS5, they both center on tough-as-nails young women in historical periods who will straight up regulate any obstacles to their community's safety. They're also thematically similar, as both young women also wanted the kind of honor and acknowledged badassery in their community that's normally reserved for men before earning said respect by dropping enemy corpses in the town square.