Despite the goodwill generated by the first film, the Predator franchise struggled with every subsequent entry. Predator 2, while a fan favorite, received negative reviews, Predators was divisive, and Shane Black's The Predator nearly killed the series. Also, let's not forget the two Alien vs. Predator crossovers that embarrassed both franchises.
So, with the announcement of Prey, many scoffed at the idea of another Predator movie. It didn't help that it was exiled to streaming platforms rather than a theatrical release. Thankfully, the film proved everyone wrong and has since become the highest critically rated film in the series.
Dan Trachtenberg delivers on a Predator movie that forgoes all the things that cluttered up the sequels. Gone are the bustling cities, clan feuds, and DNA augmentation; instead, we get a more back-to-basics movie. It is a film that pits Naru against the Feral Predator, two novice hunters both out to prove themselves. The movie combines this simple premise with effective direction through numerous suspenseful and action-packed sequences. It also opts for a more character-driven film with Naru's journey placed at the forefront of the story.
These elements lead to the success of Prey, which proves that, with the right idea and execution, even the most dead franchises can come back to life.