This piece contains spoilers for the endings of Prey, Predator 2, and Iron Man 2 from its very first line.In the final scene of the excellent Preyreleased this month (a sort of prequel to Schwarzenegger Predator from 1987), Naru (Amber Midthunder) returns to her tribe. After killing the Predator creature and unveiling a trophy of its severed head, she hands over a recovered weapon to the French colonists: a 1715 flintlock pistol. French speakers, she warns her people “There is danger nearby. We need to move to easier, protected ground.”
A close-up of the weapon itself reveals one thing: it’s an ultimately similar nod to Predator 2, and Danny Glover’s character discovering the Predators’ trophy room where he too receives the same weapon after defeating his own monster. (The gun itself had been developed into the comics with its roots in pirate captainsbut Prey seemed to abolish that now.)
It’s a moment that suggests nothing more than that. No leads for that. Without beating around the bush, tell us how amazing this five-second MacGuffin is. It’s simply a wonderful reminder of the series’ legacy, and serves Prey‘s in full: A grim warning that, yes, these people are on our land and have already proven they have the firepower to kill us.
The prey is its own beast
In another snap, Naru and his brother, Taabe (the fantastically named Dakota Beavers), are tied together to a tree as bait. Facing an unknown and unseen monster, Taabe reasons, “If he bleeds…we can kill him.”
Back to Schwarzenegger’s original line, again, this reference seems entirely deserved. That heart-in-mouth moment from Are They Going To Say It? is directed by a character whose main role is hunt.
It actually makes sense for the character and the story of the movie, and at no point does it feel like a tired sequel ticking boxes just to please fans. Prey is so strong in its own independence and vision that a callback line like this doesn’t feel like one of many knocks down the hatch of a referential drinking game. He stands alone.
On Easter eggs in particular, director of Prey Dan Trachtenberg told digital spy:
Frankly, there was no Easter egg – perhaps except for one in particular – that we had a preconceived notion of trying to get it stuck. We were really embracing the lore that was present and telling a story somewhat similar to the original movie story in structure.
This led us to encounter small, obvious moments where Easter Eggs would pop up. There was never a moment where we said to ourselves: “We have to put this in the film”. I think it can get in the way of intent.
Too old for this shit
Revisit Predator 2 today reveals a movie that hasn’t particularly improved with age. It remains a whimsical, chewy sequel to a true classic. Its characters are barely sketched and its cast (although an 80s movie fan’s dream, with Gary Busey and Bill Paxton both prominently featured), comes across as more of a distraction than a real plea for the existence of the movie.
Predator 2 keep on going PredatorThe legacy of not improving it, and Danny Glover is a poor excuse to replace Arnold Schwarzenegger. But Prey line toes. It acknowledges the show’s hopeless sensibilities and waning history, while still treating what came before and the show’s fans with respect – but mostly without feeling like it’s placating the diehards. for cheap points.
And it’s telling that this is a film that doesn’t opt for an end-credits scene (although it does include a nice animated Native-style fable that hints at more to come…). Now so common in major movies at every level, when Marvel Studios was making a name for itself in Hollywood, they established end credit scenes as their own way of alluding to follow-up films.
Talk to The Hollywood Reporter about a possible sequel, Trachtenberg said:
The nerd in me looked as far, as far as he could look, before we started writing this movie, but the adult in me said, “Don’t count your chickens and just be careful.” Try to make the best movie possible, right away.
Aside from the end-credits sequence, there’s something refreshing about seeing a movie that’s not really meant to be just a part of something else. There’s something good about seeing a complete thought.”
The prey doesn’t need infinity stones
Like Marvel movies, his Easter Eggs have become a radioactive aspect of his stories, louder than just a throwaway moment for uber-fans. Take the end of Iron Man 2: a character discovers Thor’s Hammer – a character unrelated to the story at the time. Once the credits roll, it’s clear that those disconnected nuggets and scintillating screams don’t serve the story.
While intriguing and even tantalizing to fans, this sort of constant preamble and connection to future toy sales has lessened any impact Easter Eggs might have once had. These have become endless introductory advertising of whatever their next title will be in a multiverse of factory-made features. Disney’s take on its star wars The series and its arguably pointless spinoffs are even easier to spot for its overt fan fun that compromises the storytelling.
Prey, however, is a film that respects its own wonky (and often downright disappointing) legacy, without choking itself in the process. Like a true predator, Prey has the element of surprise on its side. The surprise that no one expected to get another good Predator film again, after increasingly poor box office returns after the first (and arguably only good) film in 1987.
PreyThe director of has kept the schtum on the sequels so far, but with the film’s incredible streaming success and universally positive reviews, the Predator the series seems fit to hunt again.