The Fluid Mirror, by EugenPetrascu (A Brief and Wholly Inadequate Review)
If, during my extensive presence here in our theProse.com village (albeit as resident madwoman) I have accrued any clout worthy of any sort of consideration whatsoever, even in the smallest degree, I would like nothing more than to utilize that influence in the furtherance of this novel.
I will not lie to you my dearest fellows, the fact is that The Fluid Mirror shocked me egregiously. Those of you who know me know full well that I am not easily shocked, so in consideration of my disposition, and in light of the possibility that my ravenously open mind is mistakenly called into question by this statement, I would like to explain why it shocked me. The culprit was not, as might otherwise be suspected, the vivid pornography of the first scene; that chapter written with all the semi-intentional audacity of an unspoken adolescent fantasy (An inception given, I might accuse in hindsight, to appall and repel any would-be-reader not open to naked reflection of himself.) It was rather the subsequently beauteous insight into the scope and breadth of humanity which unfolds itself between the written lines. The author of this writing, by my harshest and most severe estimation, is a prodigiously talented individual. His is an artfully artless art; an earnest exploration of existence in all of it's full and glorious dismay. Please, lose yourself in it as I have.
The book in question can be found here:
It should be noted in conclusion that Eugen Petrascu has not requested, nor has he even given his permission, for me to erect this pedestal by which I now display him in this manner. And for my crime of passion, I can only beg for his merciful forgiveness. He is sure to disapprove, in the humble manner of all excellent craftsmen, my unbridled and disturbingly personal unveiling of his efforts.
Harry Situation Reviews: The Blair Witch Project
Happy Halloween everyone! And what better way to celebrate one of the best holidays of the year is to review a horror movie. I think it's high time that I reviewed this Halloween classic.
The Blair Witch Project is a 1999 found footage horror film directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez. The story centers around three amateur film students who embark on quest to film a documentary about the Blair Witch, a local legend of a malevolent ghost that is said to haunt the Black Hills woods of Burkittsville, Maryland. The three become lost and find themselves hunted by the very being they were trying to document. They disappeared and what we the audience see is supposedly what they filmed that may clue in on their fates and the terror of the Blair Witch.
What can be said about this film that hasn't been said before? The Blair Witch Project was the film that was the grandfather of all found footage films, helping kickstart the subgenre that would lead into films such as Cloverfield, Quarantine, and of course Paranormal Activity. Obviously, it wasn't the first found footage flick ever made. Cannibal Holocaust actually had that beat by about a decade earlier. But it certainly was the one that helped cement the subgenre into existence.
Over the years people have been pretty divisive on this film. Some love it, other hate it. Some praise it as one of the greatest horror movies of all time, while others call it a shaky cam mess. So, what's my opinion on one of the foundations of found footage?
The first positive I got to give is the atmosphere. The woods can be a creepy setting and this film turns the creep factor up to eleven. There's a ton of footage during the daytime while the characters are wandering around lost and it's pretty spooky. There's a ton of footage during the night where you hear strange noises and you're not sure what that is, much like the characters themselves, and it's spooky. The biggest criticism I've heard people say against this movie is that you never see the actual Blair Witch on screen. When the cast were running out of their tents there's a moment where Heather screams, "What the fuck was that?!?", indicating that she saw something, but it isn't very clear. Originally the camera was supposed to film a brief scene where you can see a figure hovering in the air, most likely the Blair Witch. The shot wasn't clear enough and it was too dark to tell, yet the filmmakers kept it in the final production. Personally, I don't see that being a problem. It's unknown and the unknown is terrifying. Not knowing or not seeing something is far scarier than throwing something on screen. It allows your mind to play tricks on you and come up with your own imagination to what Heather may have saw. Maybe she did see something. Maybe she didn't. We'll never know, and that's what makes it scary. It's something that adds a layer of unease to the movie.
The film also had one of the best marketing gimmicks ever composed. This was one of the first films to use transmedia storytelling. What is transmedia storytelling, you ask. This is when you use multiple forms of media to tell a larger story. Before its release, The Blair Witch Project had a website that contained a ton of lore about the Blair Witch and the town of Burkittsvile. Keep in mind that this is all fabricated for the sake of good fiction, but you couldn't tell that during the late 90s. They also came up with a couple of fictional documentaries to further build on the legend of the Blair Witch. One of them, which is more relevant to what happens in the movie, is The Burkittsville Seven. This is a fictional true crime documentary about the disappearance and murders of seven children in the 1940s. According to the lore an old hermit named Rustin Parr took these children to his house in the middle of the Black Hills woods and killed them one by one. As he was doing the killings, he had one of the children face the corner of the room and ordered him not to look at him. When he was arrested, he confessed to the murders and said that a voice in his head (i.e., the Blair Witch) kept telling him to do it or else it wouldn't leave him alone.
This leads to what makes the movie work: the sense of realism. All the outside material helped heightened the lore and realism. And when you're watching the film, seeing everything play out, it all feels very real. Much of the dialogue was all improvised. Only a small percentage of the film is scripted, which makes me wonder which parts were scripted. When the actors are freaking out or cussing at each other, they really are doing that. The camera they use isn't high tech like a Hollywood camera. It's more or less your basic home video camera. It's shot with poor quality, and it looks amateurish because it was meant to look like that. These three characters aren't professionals. So, the way the movie was put together looks unprofessional, but it also looks very real.
Now some might not think this is appealing or entertaining, and I get that. However, I feel that this works in the film's favor. I feel that many found footage films seem to forget that aspect. They forgot to make them feel real. Nowadays they feel too Hollywood with all the better-quality cameras and visual effects. The Blair Witch Project had none of that, making for a much more grounded and believable experience. I wouldn't be surprised with there were some people back in 1999 who thought the film was real only to find out later that it's complete fiction.
Of course, I gotta talk about the climax and ending of the film because that's what everyone seems to remember most about it. I have to say it is arguably one of the best endings for a horror film too. Everyone who has seen this film know what I'm talking about but if you haven't seen it obviously, I'm gonna discuss the ending. So, spoiler alert. Skip ahead to the next paragraph or so if you don't want to be spoiled by the ending.
Moving forward, towards the end, one of the friends, Josh, suddenly goes missing. Both Heather and Mike are unsure what happened, as with the rest of the audience. What they do find is a piece of Josh's clothing bundled together. They open it to find the only bit of gore in this movie: blood, some teeth, and, I think, a piece of an organ but I'm not sure of what though. This is the 'shit just got real' moment of the movie. This also leads to the famous scene where Heather is talking to the camera and it's a close up shot of her eyes and that ugly ass snot bubble that's leaking from her nose.
After hearing what sounds like Josh being tortured, Heather and Mike come across a large, old, decaying house in the middle of the woods, likely the house that belonged to the aforementioned Rustin Parr. The pair go in only to find bloody handprints of children decorating the walls. Eventually they get separated with Mike getting attacked by something offscreen. Heather makes her way to the basement to find Mike standing at the corner of the room until she is attacked from behind and the camera stops filming, leading to the end credits. It's one of the most memorable and suspenseful endings to a horror film I've seen in decades.
Personally, my biggest criticism against the film are the characters. Now the actors aren't bad at all. It's just there is stuff they're characters say and do that doesn't exactly make me feel sorry for them. Much of the movie they spend time yelling at each other and blaming each other for getting lost. Now, this does make it very believable and would look like a realistic scenario that real friends would do in a situation like this. However, it makes it a little grating to sit and watch them argue and cuss at each other over and over again. Also, everything that starts happening to them is mainly their fault. One example is when the trio are lost in the woods and argue amongst themselves because their map goes missing. Then Mike reveals he kicked the map out of frustration. Not to mention after the trio encounters the stick figures in the woods, it is later revealed that Heather took on of the stick figures. Why? I'm not sure and we never see Heather take one of these figurines or see a figurine in her bag that validate what they're saying. But let's just say things escalate from bad to worse when she did this. Honestly, they did this to themselves and what happens to them is kind of their characters fault.
Overall, I can see why The Blair Witch Project is regarded as one of the most memorable horror films to come out of the past two decades. Now I wouldn't say that the film scared me during my first viewing. Creeped out, sure. But I personally didn't find it scary. And sure, what doesn't scare me will probably scare others and vice versa. However, over the years I have developed a deep respect for this film. It did set the groundwork for other found footage films. It had the best marketing ploy. And it was competently well put together with what they had. And it grossed over $200 million worldwide on a $60,000 budget. So, I can definitely see why this film is highly praised and highly regarded as one of the best horror films made. I would definitely recommend giving it a watch some time just for the experience. Just make sure you don't knock over any rock piles or take any stick figurines.
Final Grade: B
So those are my thoughts on The Blair Witch Project. Have you seen it? What were your thoughts on it? Love it? Hate it? Please be kind, leave a like and comment, and have a fun and safe Halloween!
Heather Donahue: "I'm scared to close my eyes; I'm scared to open them."
#harrysituationreviews #film #opinion #horror #supernatural #ghost #witch #foundfootage
Happy (almost) Halloween fellow poets, writers, authors, & creatives. Just wanted to share a link to my (new~ish) podcast— its still in the works- not sure how many seasons/episodes it’s going to have…yet.. but stay tuned, or at least enjoy the first part of The Shadow Man series.
I will attach the link below.
(let me know if it actually works, hehe, technology is its kind of like magick.) Hope to also at least get some more new works/parts in for The Shadow Man story.
Here is the link:
(All Rights Reserved)
#TheShadowMan (c) Octobre 18, 2022.
I guess it's not so much that I don't like horror movies, it's just that there's no better time of the year to start watching Hallmark movies :D
Ever since I met my best friend, we've been making jokes about us getting our Hallmark ending, so now I'm a sappy romantic, just waiting for my happy ending to begin.
Harry Situation Reviews: Halloween Ends
"I prayed he would burn in hell, but in my heart, I knew hell would not want him."
-Dr. Samuel Loomis, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
Halloween Ends is the conclusion to David Gordon Green's and Danny McBride's "H40" trilogy and features the return of Laurie Strode (reprised by Jamie Lee Curtis) and Michael Myers (reprised by James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle). The story takes place four years after the night Michael Myers, the Shape, returned to Haddenfield and continued his killing spree. Laurie Strode and her granddaughter try the best they can to move forward despite losing friends and loved ones. But Michael is restless. After years of hiding, he dons his mask and arms his kitchen knife once more to feed is relentless bloodlust. Now Laurie seeks to confront him and put an end to this nightmare once and for all. Evil dies tonight.
I have absolutely been loving these new Halloween movies. They're the best that the franchise has to offer since the original, and they've helped spark a resurgence in slasher movies and sequels (for better or worse). And both David Gordon Green and Danny McBride have done a great job with both entries as these movies serve as a love letter to the Halloween franchise. They've also proven themselves to work great in the horror genre, so much so that I hope to see more horror projects from them. I heard that director David Gordon Green has plans for a new trilogy for the Exorcist franchise. If they're as entertaining as his Halloween trilogy, I'll definitely check them out.
So, does this final chapter in Laurie's and Michael's saga the epic conclusion the fans have been waiting for? Let's talk about it.
The first positive has to go to Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode. She is outstanding. I don't think the character of Laurie Strode could have been played by anyone other than her, and she has delivered a masterful performance throughout this trilogy. Her character arc has been great. In the beginning she's been paranoid and obsessed that Michael Myers would one day return to kill her once more. Now she's embracing life and telling her story of survival as a means to cope with the trauma. It's a much more lighthearted and inspiring way to deal with survivor's guilt versus the self-destructive and nihilist take that Rob Zombie gave us in his version of Halloween II. That doesn't mean she hasn't stopped thinking about Michael Myers, as when he returns, she's definitely ready for their final confrontation. And she still blames herself, believing that she may have brought this evil into Haddenfield.
Speaking of the final fight between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers was a treat. I loved how brutal and physical it got between them. Both were determined to finish the other off. It's the fight fans have been waiting for and it was spectacular.
The kills were just as great too. It's bloody. It's gory. It's creative. It's exactly what you want in a Halloween movie.
Unfortunately, this is where all my positives end. The truth is this isn't a very good movie. The biggest issue with this movie is its story. That synapsis I gave above is kind of a lie. Unfortunately, this is going to lead into spoilers because it's hard to talk about the core issue without spoiling anything. If you don't want spoilers, please skip ahead to my final thoughts on Halloween Ends.
Alright, let's talk spoilers. There's a ton of focus on this new character Corey Cunningham (played by Rohan Campbell). The film opens with Corey babysitting until things go wrong when he accidentally kills his charge. While he wasn't sent to prison the whole town despises him, viewing him as bad as Michael Myers. He later encounters Michael Myers and assists him in some murders until he decides to become the new Michael Myers. It's an interesting idea. It's reminiscent to the ending of Halloween 4 where Jamie Lloyd, the daughter of Laurie Strode of that timeline, looks like she'll become the next Michael Myers.
The problem is that I feel the story just isn't structured very well. On one hand you have Laurie and Allyson living their lives, the next you have Allyson dating Corey, and then you have Corey growing darker as he suddenly has a need to kill. Credit where credit is due the film does make you feel sorry for Corey in the beginning, having become a pariah in Haddenfield. But then it focuses on him too much and detracts from the other characters, especially Michael. I'm not interested in his story. And I don't think his story fits in this film. I get what they were trying to go with, but I don't think it fits with a Halloween movie. At least, this Halloween movie anyway.
This leads to the other issue: the lack of Michael Myers. Michael isn't in the film for very long. I get what they were trying to pull off with Corey, but we all came to see Michael do his thing. Instead, we're just slowly watching Corey develop into a copycat killer. However, when Michael is onscreen it's a huge treat. I just wished there was more screen time for him.
Overall, Halloween Ends wasn't exactly the epic conclusion I was hoping for. While this movie wasn't a huge spectacle as its first two predecessors, I do find it interesting that it tries to be introspective. Whether it succeeds or if anyone else sees that is anyone's guess. I will say that I'd still watch this over Halloween Resurrection and Rob Zombie's Halloween II. While it is a disappointing conclusion to this trilogy, there are still a few moments that I enjoyed because it reminds me why I love this franchise.
Now the question remains: does this make it the final Halloween movie? Yeah right. I don't think so. This trilogy has proven to be incredibly successful at the box office. I seriously doubt this is the last we'll see of Michael Myers. Just because this is the last film to feature Michael and Laurie that doesn't make it the end of the franchise. And honestly, I don't want the franchise to end. If anything, this trilogy is a love letter to the franchise as a whole, and it shows why Michael Myers is such an icon in the horror genre. The character is the definitive boogeyman in our reality just as he was the boogeyman in his franchise. That's going to live on forever.
With that out of the way I want to thank director David Gordon Green and Danny McBride for sharing their story to a franchise they love. Thank you Jamie Lee Curtis for returning to your iconic role as Laurie Strode, the original scream queen. Thank you Jason Blum and Blumhouse Productions for producing these films. Thank you to all the cast and crew for giving us new scares in a beloved franchise. And thank you John Carpenter for giving us, in my opinion, the best slasher villain in all of horror.
I do hope we get to see Michael Myers in future films. Maybe a crossover film with Leatherface where to two slashers fight each other, like with Freddy vs Jason. One can only hope. As the film stated evil never dies, it just takes on a new shape.
-Jamie Lee Curtis
-Laurie Strode and Michael Myers final fight
-Lack of Michael Myers
Final Grade: C
Now that I've seen the whole Halloween franchise, I think this is my ranking for each film from best to worst. Again, this is just my personal opinion. If you disagree with my ranking fill free to comment.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
Rob Zombie's Halloween
Halloween 3: Season of the Witch
Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (both original and director's cut)
Rob Zombie's Halloween II
So those are my thoughts on Halloween Ends. Have you seen it? What were your thoughts on it? What is your favorite Halloween movie? Please be kind, leave a like and comment, and check out more reviews here on Prose.
Laurie Strode: "Evil doesn't die. It just takes a new shape."
#harrysituationreviews #film #opinion #horror #slasher #sequel #MichaelMyers #Halloween
Harry Situation Reviews: Hellraiser (2022)
The box. You opened it. We came.
Hellraiser (2022) is a new supernatural horror reboot released on Hulu. It is the eleventh installment of the Hellraiser franchise, serving as a new adaptation Clive Barker's The Hellbound Heart. The story follows a young woman struggling with addiction who finds an unusual puzzle box known as the Lament Configuration. As she unlocks the secrets of the box, she discovers the horrifying truth that it is a beacon to summon a group of sadistic interdimensional beings known as the Cenobites and their leader, the notorious Pinhead (this time played by Jamie Clayton).
I actually enjoy some of the Hellraiser films, my favorites being the first two installments. And the character of Pinhead (along with actor Doug Bradley) has become such an icon in the horror genre, taking his place in the horror Hall-of-Fame along with Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers. So, when I heard that a new Hellraiser was going to be released I certainly had my doubts. I mean, just look back on the long, failed history of horror remakes/reboots. But I was willing to give it a chance. So, does this movie have such sights to show us? Or will its suffering be legendary even in Hell?
For the positives, the performances are pretty good. Everyone does a solid good job. The one I definitely want to give a shout out to is Jamie Clayton as Pinhead. She wasn't necessarily a standout, but she did a very good job. The thing everyone loves about the character of Pinhead is that he's a horror villain who talks like Freddy Krueger. But unlike Freddy, who tends to make jokes, he speaks like he's a morbid philosopher. I feel that Jamie Clayton nailed that aspect in her portrayal.
BTW, if anyone's got an issue with this new Pinhead being played by a woman, keep in mind that in Clive Barker's novella, The Hellbound Heart, Pinhead is described as androgynous. So basically, this version of Pinhead is more accurate to the novella than Doug Bradley's Pinhead.
I really like new designs for each of the Cenobites too. Instead of just leather outfits and sharp objects imbedded into their heads, each Cenobite looks to have had layers of flesh removed from their bodies. We got one that's missing pieces of their jaw, one that's had their throat spread apart, and of course you got my boy the Chatterer. They all look really cool, and it shows that becoming a Cenobite is an extremely painful process.
Of course, the franchise wouldn't be where it's at with the amount of blood and gore, and this film gets pretty bloody. I mean, what do you expect from a horror franchise where people have hooks and chains tearing at their flesh? It looks pretty good. Not too much on CGI but more focus on practical effects and gore, something I've always enjoyed more in a horror movie.
I also really like how they added new layers to the mythos of the franchise. In this remake, the Lament Configuration changes forms every time someone solves the puzzle, and it also cuts them with a small blade. The one who is cut by the blade is then offered as a sacrifice to the Cenobites and their god Leviathan. Solving the full puzzle will grant you your greatest desire. New stuff like this I feel has been completely missing from the Hellraiser franchise, save for Hellraiser: Judgement. Honestly, it's nice to get some clarification and new content on how the Lament Configuration works and why the Cenobites are connected to it.
Now for the negatives. While the Cenobites are cool, the characters are not. There isn't much characterization for them aside from the main protagonist Riley (played by Odessa A'zion) but mainly you look at this cast and you see them nothing but fodder for the Cenobites. You don't even feel bad when one by one they get slaughtered, you're just waiting for it to happen because you want to see the Cenobites.
And one last criticism I do have is something I've noticed watching the later Hellraiser movies. It seems to be lacking that human element. Let me explain further. For those unfamiliar with the franchise the Cenobites aren't necessarily evil. Hell, they weren't even the main antagonists in the first two films. They were just there. The antagonists were Frank Cotton, his mistress Julia, and then later Dr. Channard in Hellraiser II. It's that later in the sequel movies the Cenobites are portrayed as demons when the reality they are neutral, hence why Pinhead described themselves as, "demons to some, angels to others."
The first two films were about exploring human desire and questioning how far one would go to get what they want. Desire is a driving force. It's what gets the characters in those movies to attempt to complete the puzzle, and it is desire that summons the Cenobites. The later movies in the franchise, including this one, all lack that desire. They became too focused on showing off Pinhead and the other Cenobites and forgot that the human characters, the human spirit, is what helped made the first two stand out from other horror movies.
Overall, this new Hellraiser is far better than most of the sequels in the franchise and almost on par with the original. I would definitely recommend this film to all fans of Hellraiser, and to any fans of horror like me. But mostly I would recommend checking out the first two films because they're just masterpieces on their own.
-Jamie Clayton as Pinhead
-Cool new Cenobite looks
-Gory as hell (no pun intended)
-New Hellraiser mythos
-Missing that human element
Final Grade: B
So those are my thoughts on Hellraiser (2022). Have you seen it? What were your thoughts on it? Please be kind, leave a like and comment, and check out more reviews here on Prose... or WE'LL TEAR YOUR SOUL APART!
Riley: "I've done enough."
Pinhead: "Enough... is a myth."
#harrysituationreviews #film #opinion #horror #supernatural #cenobites #Hellraiser #remake #reboot #Hulu
Okay, so I remember when I was younger and my friends would be like: "you don't like horror movies???" So I thought, "do I?"
No. Absolutely not. Younger me realized that they were definitely not my thing after watching one on Tubi, so I never want to watch one again (yes, they scare me that much). I had a bad dream after that, and when I told my mom, she squinted at me and asked, "did you read or watch anything scary?"
So I said, "nooo..." and felt incredibly guilty afterwards. And that was the end of it - I haven't watched another since, and I am quite content with that. Anyway, I'd have to say that I don't really have a favorite genre exactly. As long as my conscience allows it and it has an interesting plot, I'm happy to watch it!
I wrote up something I quite liked, then realized I was 400 words over the limit... here are the pared down facts:
I don't watch horror, I was forbidden the genre as a teen by my mother (and was a silly kid who actually listened to her). I grew up, started recreating in the woods, and got a job working surveying for owls at night. I worked off trail in the darkest depths of night, miles and miles from anyone or anything. My greatest fear was falling and getting impaled by a sharp stick, or encountering a cougar (only once and I was in my truck). So...thanks Mom! No unearthly horrors to invade my brain in the dark woods.
I generally watch Pixar, Dreamworks, epic fantasy, kooky sci-fi, hopeful escapes, not something to make my brain add un-necessary horrors to the world.
full write up: https://theprose.com/write?postId=520738
Harry Situation Reviews: Barbarian
I know it's been a while since you seen one of my reviews. Thing was I was getting over COVID Omicron, followed up with a serious case of bronchitis and a slipped ribbed. Yeah, things haven't been going well for me health wise for the past month. But I'm fully recovered and got a new review for you all. Plus, I'll be taking some vacation time later this week so I can work on more writing.
Barbarian is a new horror thriller directed by Zach Cregger. It stars Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgaard, Justin Long, and Richard Blake. The film centers around a young woman (played by Georgina Campbell) drives to Detroit for an interview. She rents a house in a remote neighborhood only to find that it is already taken by a young man (played by Bill Skarsgaard). With little options she stays the night only to learn of the house's dark secrets.
I had no clue what I was getting into before watching this movie. I mainly went to see it because a friend of my couldn't stop talking about it. He really like this movie. And I have to admit, I really like it too.
All the actors do a stellar job in this. Georgina Campbell was great. Bill Skarsgaard is just fantastic. Justin Long - god, I haven't seen that guy in so long - was outstanding. Just fantastic job from the whole cast.
I think what I like most about Barbarian is that it isn't like traditional horror. It doesn't rely on cheap jumpscares or fake outs to scare its audience, or any of that other bullshit that modern horror tries to throw at audiences. It relies more on building suspense and tension. As soon as the characters explore the basement inside the house there is a wave of suspense that thrashes out at you, and you're on the edge of your seat the entire time. The horror comes from when you understand what's really going on in this house and it just makes you completely uncomfortable.
The music is also great. It really helps build up the suspension throughout.
The only issue I might have against the movie is its story structure. It starts off with Georgina's and Bill's characters meeting for the first time and talking in this rental house, and then later on it cuts to Justin Long's character doing something else, somewhere else. It's oddly bizarre.
This is one of the most bizarre horror film I've seen since Hereditary. I hate to keep this review brief but honestly I can't talk too much about the movie. I feel like if I get into any details I'd be spoiling the whole movie. This is one of those movies you have to see to understand. Overall, Barbarian gets my highest recommendation.
-Great suspense & atmosphere
-Not traditional horror
Final Grade: A
So those are my thoughts on Barbarian. Have you seen it? What are your thoughts on it? Please be kind, leave a like and comment, and check out more reviews here on Prose!
#harrysituationreviews #film #opinion #horror #thriller #suspense #house #AGrade
Harry Situation Reviews: Prey
Prey is a new science fiction action thriller prequel released on Hulu featuring the feared intergalactic hunter, the Predator. The film is directed by Dan Trachtenburg, who is known for his critically acclaimed directorial debut 10 Cloverfield Lane, and stars Amber Midthunder, actress known for her roles in Legion and Roswell. It is also the first film in the Predator franchise to have been distributed by 20th Century Studios (I still refer them as 20th Century Fox) after their merge with Disney.
The film takes place during the 18th Century on the Great American Plains. A young Comanche warrior named Naru (played by Amber Midthunder) and her tribe suddenly find themselves as hunted for sport by the dreadlocked extraterrestrial hunter (played by Dane DiLiegro). Determined to protect her tribe against this highly evolved killer, she sets out to confront it, leading into the ultimate challenge of survival to determine who is the predator and who is the prey.
I'll be honest after the shit pile that was Shane Black's The Predator I had little hope for this franchise. Also, changing the title from Predator to Prey didn't help things either. It was like they were trying to be cute or something. But I still kept an open mind, hoping that this film was at least better than The Predator. And it certainly was. Like leagues better than that shitty movie. In fact, I dare say I really liked this new Predator movie.
First positive goes to Amber Midthunder's performance. She was outstanding throughout. She doesn't have a ton of dialogue but she expresses her thoughts through her eyes. And her character Naru is great. She's a problem solver and a skilled tracker, making her a worthy opponent against the Predator. You also understand why she's trying to prove herself, to her tribe, and to her brother she is a capable hunter.
BTW: if you're bitching about the idea of a person fighting the Predator with only a bow and arrow, keep in mind that's exactly what Arnold used to fight the Predator in the first film.
Speaking of the Predator I like how this Predator is portrayed. This big guy is named the Feral Predator and watching the movie I see why. This Predator tends to fight more hand to hand rather than rely on his technology, and his tactics tend to be more brutal and savage. I also get the feeling that this is a young Predator based on how unrefined the way he hunts and kills his prey. He also seems to progress from prey to prey at the start of the film, having killed a wolf then a bear and then finally killing a bunch of French fur trappers.
The kills in the movie are great too. These kills look like they do some serious damage. It's brutal. It's bloody. There's some great sound design that make them feel juicy. It's all you can ask for in a Predator movie. Although I did find it weird at times that when it comes to violence the film seems to cut from it, almost like the editors are trying to hide the violence and give it a PG-13 rating. Luckily the stuck to their guns and kept it R-rated (as it should be) and showed off some great, nasty kills.
But the biggest praise I can give is how it recaptures the intensity and the spirit of the original Predator film while maintaining its own identity. I think the problem with the sequels is that they try too hard to be like the original, in the case of Predator 2 and Predators, or they just went completely off the rails with the idea of Predators inject autism into themselves or whatever the fuck bullshit Shane Black came up with in The Predator. This film is its own thing while still harboring the same suspense and thrills the original had. It doesn't copy the formula, it makes something of its own property. It's a perfect blend of originality and paying tribute.
Now one criticism I do have against the film is that there are times where it does feel slow, mainly in the first act. We slowly follow the life of Naru and the Comanche in their day to day life while the Predator arrives and does his own thing. That's not to say that watching how Naru and the other Comanche do isn't important. In fact, it's actually pretty cool seeing life of the Comanche on the Great Plains and done so with great respect and representation. It's just that I'm on my couch wanting to see the Comanche fight the Predator and I don't feel I should wait half an hour for that to happen in what feels like a slow burn.
And going back to the Feral Predator I gotta admit I don't like the design. The face of the Feral Predator is way too rounded and somehow they made it uglier than the original. However, I can accept the fact that this is another subspecies of Predator different from the Jungle Hunter of the original movie, much like the Super Predators from Predators. I also don't like the biomask design either. The bone structure is cool, but it exposes too much of the mouth and mandibles. But that's just my personal gripe from as a longtime fan of this franchise.
Overall this is honestly the best Predator film we got since the original film, although that's pretty low bar if you compare it to the other contenders. However it is a solid entry to the franchise and the first film in a while that actually felt like a Predator movie (at least in my opinion). Honestly, I can definitely see this having a potential for more entries like this in the future. Like an series of anthologies where the Predators are hunting humans in different periods, like Feudal Japan or World War II. There's a ton of potential in something like this, as like as Fox/Disney finds the write people who are passionate about this franchise as the fans. The movie claims that this is the first time the Predators have been on Earth but that's technically not true. The Predators have been hunting humans for over a millennium. Humans are the ultimate prey. So there is plenty of room to show how far back the Predators have been hunting humans.
This prequel is a step in the right direction for good Predator movies. Let's hope they don't turn out to be ugly motherfuckers like The Predator.
-The Feral Predator
-Has the feel of the original
-Slow burn at times
-Feral Predator's design
Final Grade: B
So those are my thoughts on Prey. Have you seen it? What were your thoughts on it? What is your idea for a Predator sequel/prequel/story? Please be kind, leave a like and comment, and check out more reviews here on Prose!
Naru: "You think that I am not a hunter like you that I am not a threat. That is what makes me dangerous."
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