Hulu’s new Predator prequel film Prey is out now, and it returns the series to form with a bloody vengeance. Created by 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg, Prey is set 300 years before the iconic 1987 original movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. This time around, the titular alien faces off against Naru (Amber Midthunder), an aspiring warrior of the Comanche Nation. The film honors the classic sci-fi franchise as well as breaks new ground by setting the story against a vivid depiction of Native American culture during the 18th century. It’s easily one of the best Predator movies of all time.
But making a sequel to a long-running series like Predator comes with certain challenges. There’ll always be the temptation to shoe-horn in easter eggs; we’ve certainly seen that done in Predator movies past, as when different characters say they have to “get to the chopper” or they “don’t have time to bleed.” It’s easy for that kind of thing to feel forced.
Fortunately, Prey has a bit more restraint. “There were lots of jokes on set about maybe we call a horse Chopper or the fur trappers say let’s go chop… I think that would have been a little too far,” Trachtenberg told Digital Spy.
"Frankly, there was no Easter egg – maybe except for one in particular – that we had the preconceived notion of trying to jam it in. We really were embracing the lore that was present and telling a story that is somewhat similar to the story of the original film in its structure. That led us through encountering little obvious moments where Easter eggs would arise. There was never any moment where we were like, ‘We’ve got to put this in the movie’. I think that can hamper the intention."
This approach helps the finished film. Prey nods to every other mainline Predator movie at one point or another, but it always feels justified in the moment, and far more likely to make fans cheer than groan.
Now that the film’s out, let’s hit on six ways that Prey pays homage to the rest of the Predator franchise. Note that there will be SPOILERS for Prey beyond this point.
1. “If it bleeds, we can kill it.”
One of the most famous lines from the original Predator comes when Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his team of commandos first learn that the Predator’s blood has fallen in the jungle after one of their scuffles. “If it bleeds, we can kill it,” he proclaims.
Prey has this line as well, delivered by Naru’s brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers). This could have easily been cheesy, but instead is a fist pump moment as Naru and Taabe realize that they have a chance against the extraterrestrial Predator.