“Prey” is the prequel to all the Predator movies to date. It takes place in the early 18th century and shows how the Comanche, a Native American tribe, came into contact with the predators. Directed by Dan Trachtenberg, it is perhaps the most effective “Predator” film, thanks to its intimate nature. The film’s depiction of raw emotions matches the predator’s raw nature, which makes for a strong dynamic.
What Happens In The 2022 “Prey” Film?
The year is 1719. Naru is a Comanche woman living in the Northern Great Plains who wakes up every morning to collect vegetables for her family. The rest of the day, she trains with her ax and her pet dog, Sarii. One morning, while hunting an antelope, she observes “the thunderbird” (a spaceship) in the sky. She takes it as a sign that she is ready for her “kuhtaamia,” i.e., a hunting ritual that involves hunting something that is hunting her back. If she is successful, she will be deemed a warrior. Her mother doesn’t want her to hunt, but she has made up her mind to be a hunter. Meanwhile, somewhere in the jungle, a ship drops a predator that sets out to hunt with its cloak on.
Later, on that very day, one of the members of their tribe, Pihu, is taken by a lion. Seven hunters, including Naru’s brother Taabe, set out to find Pihu and kill the lion. Naru joins the group too. After searching for some time, they find Pihu heavily wounded and bleeding under a tree. While the men create a makeshift stretcher out of tree branches, Naru applies medicine to Pihu’s wounds as well as feeds him some “orange totsiyaa,” a kind of herb that will slow the blood flow and prevent him from bleeding out. It gets dark by the time they set off on their journey back home. Taabe decides to stay back and return only after killing the lion. On the way, Naru finds a skinned snake along with tracks. What’s unusual is that even if it was a bear’s track, it had to be on its hind legs, unless the marks belong to something else. She decides to return to Taabe and warn him. One of the men, Paaka, joins her. As they meet Taabe and wait for the cat to reveal itself, Taabe tells Naru that the time has come for her kuhtaamia. She has to be the one to kill the cat. As Taabe and Paaka set the bait, Naru waits atop a tree. The puma shows itself, climbs up the tree, and is about to pounce on Naru when “lightning in the trees” at a distance distracts her. Naru manages to plunge her spear into the puma as it pouches on her and falls off the branch, losing consciousness.
Naru opens her eyes at home and finds out that Taabe brought her back and returned to kill the cat. After some time, Taabe comes home carrying the dead body of the cat. He is made the new war chief. Naru tries to make Taabe understand that there is something dangerous lurking in the jungle and that it has to be killed. But Taabe isn’t convinced by her. The next morning, Naru decides to leave with only Sarii by her side. As she continues beyond the ridgeline, she comes across a green sap-like liquid (predator blood) as well as the same large foot marks. On one hand, we see Naru practicing her hunting skills, while on the other, we see the predator claiming its taste for competition by killing a wolf that was hunting a rabbit. It then takes the wolf’s skull along. After camping for the night, Naru and Sarii set off looking for whatever was left of the tracks. After walking a distance, they come across a grassland filled with dead-skinned buffalos. Unbeknownst to them, the predator is following their track.
Meanwhile, Naru gets stuck in a swamp and is almost sucked in before she manages to pull herself out. While cleaning herself in a river, she hears a bear’s growl. She and Sarii stalk it, but the bear gets their scent and attacks them. But just before it could cause them any harm, the predator arrives and kills it. Sarii has run away, and Naru manages to swim and escape the spot. As she comes out of the river at a different spot, four of Taabe’s friends find her, whom he has sent to find her and bring her back home. She tells them about the thing that she saw kill the bear with its bare hands. But the guys don’t believe her. After a fight with one of the guys, she is forced to return home against her wishes.
The guys decide to rest at a point for a few minutes and then resume their journey. Just then, Naru hears a familiar clicking sound. From among the bushes, some possums come out, running in their direction. One of the guys kills a possum with an arrow and goes to retrieve it. As he picks the dead possum up, he observes three red dots on his chest. The very next moment, three arrows hit him one after another, killing him instantly. An arrow from one of the two remaining guys that hits the predator’s gauntlet leads to the cloak’s malfunction and reveals the ferocious predator to them. Both of them die at the predator’s hands while Naru escapes. She is then intercepted by the fourth guy in an open field, who is also killed by the predator. As Naru manages to cross the field and enter the jungle again, she is captured by a group of French pirates.
The pirates put Naru inside a cage. Her brother Taabe has also been captured and is in another cage. Sarii is tied nearby with a muzzle put over her mouth. Naru observes a guy wearing bear skin and realizes that he is the one who killed and skinned the dead buffaloes she came across earlier. One of these Frenchmen, a nice guy, approaches her and asks her to help them catch the “creature” (predator). When she disagrees, the leader brings out Taabe and runs his knife through his chest, carving a huge wound. The Frenchmen then tie Naru and Taabe to a tree in the middle of barren land, a distance from their camp, to lure the predator so that they can capture it. They wait nearby with their guns. As expected, the predator arrives and starts killing the Frenchmen one at a time. Naru manages to free herself and her brother from the tree. While Taabe goes to find horses, Naru runs to the camp to set Sarii free. She kills two of the Frenchmen at the camp, frees Sarii and sends her in Taabe’s direction. Just then, the nice Frenchman arrives at the camp, wounded, with one of his legs chopped off. He has his flintlock pistol pointed at her and offers to show her how to use it only if she helps him with his wound. She applies some medicine to the leg and gives him the “orange totsiyaa” to slow down the blood flow as earlier. He shows her how to use the pistol. Just then, Naru again hears the very familiar clicking sound and realizes that the predator has arrived at the camp. She hides. The predator isn’t able to see the Frenchman who lies stupefied. This tells Naru that it cannot detect cold bodies. However, the predator unknowingly steps on the Frenchman’s foot. The moment he screams in pain, the predator slashes his throat. Then, Sarii comes running toward the predator, barking. As it aims its gauntlet arrow at Sarii using its headgear’s triple lasers, Taabe arrives on a horse and hits its head with his spear. The headgear is thrown off the predator’s head, which turns the lasers away from Sarii and onto a tree. When the predator fires an arrow, it doesn’t hit Sarii but turns away and hits the tree. This whole thing is observed by Naru, who is hiding behind a tree. She realizes that the headgear and the arrows are synced and can be used to her advantage. Meanwhile, Taabe manages to wound the predator, but once it activates its cloak, neither Taabe nor Naru have any idea where it is. The predator attacks Taabe from the back, running its dual blades through him. Taabe dies. Naru escapes the scene yet again.
Prey’s Ending Explained: Is ‘Prey’ The End Of The Predator Franchise?
Naru arrives at a river bank, where she cleans the blood off her hands. She notices Sarii looking at something across the river. She looks in the direction and sees the leader of the Frenchmen. She takes him by surprise and knocks him out with a stone, intending to use him as bait. She knows that the predator will come at any time. So she eats some “orange totsiyaa” to turn herself cold so she will not be visible to the predator. Naturally, when the predator does arrive, it only sees the Frenchman and beheads him straight away.
Meanwhile, Naru, who has the pistol, shoots at the predator’s head from behind. The headgear comes off, and Naru takes it and runs. She comes back to the swamp area where she got stuck earlier. It is here that she lays her trap. She fixes the predator’s headgear in a particular spot and hides, waiting for the predator to arrive. As it arrives, she pounces on it from a tree branch and injures it with her ax. She also chops off one of its hands. Ultimately, she uses her ax’s leash to pull it into the swamp. Unfortunately, the predator’s immense strength enables it to pull itself out of the swamp, albeit slowly. As the predator aims its arrow at Naru, it activates the lasers in the headgear, which are now targeting the predator’s head. But it doesn’t know that. As soon as it fires the arrow, it turns away from Naru, comes around, and passes through the predator’s head, killing it instantly.
Naru returns home with the predator’s head and throws it at her father’s feet, proving her allegiance to the tribe as a warrior. She also gives him the flintlock pistol that the Frenchman gave her. The film ends with Naru being declared the new War Chief.
The flintlock pistol has the name “Raphael Adolini” carved on it along with the year “1715”. This, by all probability, means that the Frenchman who gave her the gun was none other than Adolini himself (which is different from the story in the comics, according to which Adolini gave the pistol to a predator). It is the very pistol that was given to Lieutenant Michael R. Harrigan (Danny Glover) by a predator at the end of “Predator 2” (1990). We do not know how it landed with that predator since here we see Naru giving it to her father. But since the events of “Prey” and “Predator 2” occur more than 170 years apart, there must have been thousands of fights between humans and predators before the pistol got into the hands of a predator.
“Prey” stresses the fact that a predator only hunts a prey that either has a weapon or is on the run. It is in these two things that it finds pleasure. Moreover, it also finds competition in a living thing that it sees as hunting, just like itself. It killed the wolf that was hunting a rabbit and the bear that was hunting Naru. Before she was captured by the Frenchmen, Naru’s feet got stuck in a trap. The predator could have easily killed her then but didn’t. It was probably going to free her, from the way it was pulling at the chains linked to the trap, so that she could run and it could hunt her. But none of this happened as the Frenchmen arrived at the spot, and the predator hid under its cloak.
As for whether “Prey” is the end of the Predator franchise, the answer is no. The closing credits depict the major events of the film in the form of drawings. The last drawing shows Naru being made the War Chief. But the same drawing also shows more predator ships arriving. This means that the war has only begun.
“Prey” is a 2022 Action Drama film streaming on Hulu with subtitles.