The Oscar Project
We are now less than two weeks from the end of the year, and with that I begin my countdown of my top ten films of 2022. I will be releasing a new film every weekday through the end of the year, culminating with my number one pick on Friday, December 30th. If you prefer a video version of this list, you’ll have to wait until the 30th for that as well. I don’t want to give it all away before revealing the entire list!
#10 - Prey
This film almost landed on my list of surprises of the year and looking back, I probably should have made a spot for it on that list, but I’m glad I get to expand on it here.
The film is the latest entry in the Predator franchise (affiliate link). It’s different from your typical Predator film though. There are no hulking marines to be found. The protagonist isn't fighting against the predator with automatic weapons or anything futuristic. No, this is set in the early 1700s on the great plains in what would someday be a part of the United States.
How does that work, you ask, when the predator brings so much technology to the fight? It works because Naru, the films hero is smart. Despite the predator’s superior technology and strength, Naru knows the territory and she uses that to her advantage.
Now, when you look at the film itself, there are some wonderful elements to it. While I don’t think it will end up with any Oscar nominations next month, there are beautiful elements of cinematography throughout that truly capture the vast plains locations. The costumes and makeup feel real to the period whether it is the natural outfits worn by Naru and her tribe, or the animal skins of the French trappers that try and fail to face off against the predator. And even though the story is familiar when it comes to the Predator series, this version of it feels fresh and the actors give fully into their characters so that you believe this could actually happen.
A friend of mine floated the idea of a whole series of Predator movies like this where a predator is dropped into different period in human history, sort of like the Assassin’s Creed games (affiliate link). I think this might work for a while, and it would be awesome to see how the Vikings, Zulus, Egyptians, or Samurai would handle facing off against a deadly predator. I doubt it will happen, but I would love to hear your speculation on how these films might go.
I would argue, as many others have, that this is the best Predator movie since the original starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. That is high praise to put on any film in this franchise, but I feel it is fully deserving of that spot. My only hope is that whatever comes next in the series will live up to the new high bar set by Prey.
The rest of the posts in this series are all linked below.
I'm just a film buff who wants to watch great movies. Where else to find the best, than the list of those nominated by the Academy each year?