Rated ‘R’ for strong bloody violence.
Stars Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Dane DiLiegro, Stormee Kipp, Michelle Thrush, Julian Black Antelope, Stefany Mathias, Bennett Taylor, Mike Paterson, Nelson Leis.

Director Dan Trachtenberg’s “Predator” prequel brings the franchise formula back to basics, with the alien hunter this time terrorizing the North American plains of the early 18th century.

A “Predator” adventure by way of Apocalypto and The Revenant, the story focuses on a Comanche girl named Naru (Amber Midthunder) who is eager to prove herself as a warrior and hunter. She joins other members of her tribe in a hunting party that finds traces of the alien’s activity, but they initially think it’s just a mountain lion or bear.  

To be sure, the hunting party does encounter those animals, as does the predator, who finds the unvarnished wilderness to be a target-rich environment.

The film does a clever job turning back the technology of the Yautja (the name of the predator species) several hundred years. The aliens still have the ability to cloak and see infrared with laser-guided tracking, but they have projectile weapons instead of plasma canons and nukes.

There are subtle references to the previous “Predator” films but tonally it’s most similar to the 1987 original, which should please the franchise’s most ardent fans.

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