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Sunday Scaries: Simple is Best When It Comes to ‘Predator’

Predator (1987)

The Sunday Scaries are upon us once again! Yes, as the weekend concludes, most of us feel an oncoming sense of anticipatory dread about the week ahead. Anxiety about work manifests itself into a feeling that’s known as the Sunday Scaries. However, we at Awards Radar are here to combat that, by taking back the name. Now, we want you think about a horror-centric piece on the site when you hear the term. So, let us continue on with another installment of the Awards Radar Sunday Scaries! This time around, we’re looking at a franchise that just now seems to be finding its legs again…

This weekend, Prey hit Hulu (though I was lucky enough to see it in theaters) offering up a prequel to the original Predator film. You can see my Prey review here, but I wanted to share part of what I said, as it will fuel the column. I said:

The Predator franchise has only really had one outing that fans can fully get behind, and that’s the original. Everything else, whether it has been straight sequels, reboots, match-ups with another iconic movie monster, or what have you, has at best been met with a mixed reception. So, making the latest film a prequel is certainly an interesting choice, as no one has been yearning for a Predator origin story. So, it’s with great relief to say that not only is Prey a very good movie, it’s the best in the franchise since the original. By getting to the roots of why this property has appeal, the end result is quite thrilling.

Prey should thrill folks who have been waiting patiently for this series to find its footing once again. By taking it back to basics, it’s all about what works in this man vs monster tale. If we’re going to be continuing with this type of prequel/sequel going forward, there’s something to look forward to. As long as the Predator doesn’t wind up around xenomorphs anytime soon, everything should be fine, going by past history…

Predator (1987)

The Predator franchise began on a high note in 1987 that has yet to be matched with the various sequels and new installments. While Predator 2 is a step down, parts of it work, trading in the jungle for the urban jungle of Los Angeles. Without Arnold Schwarzenegger as an opponent, we started to see the hunter get expanded upon more, instead of just being presented as simply a ruthless hunter from another world. While it worked fine there, it led to the wrong lessons being taken, including an unrelated new installment in Predators (which is fine but disappointing), as well as a modern update of sorts with The Predator (which I like a bit more than most but also wish was better). Of course, the less said about Alien vs. Predator and Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, the better, even if Myles and I went off on a tangent about them on a recent episode of the Awards Radar Podcast.

The actual predator creature is most compelling when at its simplest. The two efforts that understand that have been the unqualified successes. The more you know about them, the less interesting they are. Same with giving them even more technology or weapons, as well as making them anti-heroes of sort in the AvP flicks. It doesn’t make them scarier, it doesn’t make them more compelling, and it distracts from what they’re most beloved for being.


What Prey offers up is a welcome stripping down of all the extra nonsense that has set this franchise astray over the years. It’s back to being a hunter, and literally is without some of its more recent additions. This is an early hunt, with the grit and visceral element that comes with that. I’d love to see a follow-up continue to place it in earlier times. Think about how much potential there is for a Prey sequel (or another Predator prequel if you prefer to think of it that way) during one of the World Wars, for example? That’s just one example, but the possibilities are endless.

Hopefully, we’re now at the beginning of the Predator series taking lessons from Prey and moving forward with a less is more approach. If so, we’ll see less crossovers, less re-imaginations, and more of what we all love about the movie monster. At the very least, I’m cautiously optimistic about what the future holds for us here…

Stay tuned for another Sunday Scaries installment next week!


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[…] weekend, I wrote about Prey and the Predator franchise (right here). As we speak, it’s time to speak about Alien. Few properties have the combo of style acclaim and […]



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