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Small Details You Missed In Prey

The hunt is back on. Only this time, no one will be yelling, "Get to the Choppa!" In the world of "Prey," helicopters are a distant future dream. Set in the Great Plains of North America many decades before the Revolutionary War would rattle the continent, the Comanche Nation is toiling away amid the Summer sun sustaining the livelihoods of its people. Unbeknownst to even the fiercest warriors among the tribe is that an otherworldly invader is about to rain down terror upon their tribe.

The film focuses on Naru (Amber Midthunder), a young Comanche woman who is hell-bent on hunting with the big boys despite their insulting attitudes towards her. She wants to show the best of them that she has the chops to hunt for the tribe. Incidentally, she is the first person to sense that something isn't right about the forested area they are hunting in just beyond their settlement. Naru knows that another hunter is among them posing an imminent threat, but her comrades don't seem to listen ... until it's too late. Once the fearsome predator strikes, it does so mercilessly.

Like the "Predator" films of the past, it's up to the primary protagonists to figure out the alien's weaknesses and patterns. The stakes are always high as it's a game of hunt or be hunted. Director Dan Trachtenberg's take on the famous movie monster adds a new layer to the established lore with its historic setting. Regardless of the change in scenery, there are a lot of fun details within the film that many might not pick up on with a first-time viewing. Let's review some of the finer details that often reference the "Predator" legacy.

Hunt while being hunted foreshadowing

Naru and her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers) share a close sibling relationship. Despite Taabe's apparent affection for his younger sister, he also doesn't seem to have much faith in her capability as a hunter. Though, one might see this more as a protective posture given that he doesn't want her in harm's way. Even still, everyone within Naru's tribe doubts her hunting prowess.

In the film's opening moments, Taabe is reminiscing his early hunting experiences with the family while Naru scopes out a fresh kill. Taabe, then quickly takes the kill and tells Naru that she was "sleeping," signaling that she's hesitant to take her best shot. She retorts that he mistook her hesitancy for strategy as she was simply waiting for the bird to circle back so she didn't have to tread through the water to claim it. She then tells Taabe that she's been genuinely practicing her hunting technique and that she's ready to hunt the big game – a mountain lion. Her brother then quips, "You really think you're ready? You want to hunt something that's hunting you?" While the two are completely unaware of the real threat in the forest, it's a fun bit of foreshadowing for the showdown to come.

Hiding from the Predator in the tall grass

There are not a lot of ways this film could include callbacks or references to the other films simply because it's a prequel set at the earliest point in the franchise's chronology. However, director Dan Trachtenberg and crew clearly saw moments where they could simply allow themselves to be inspired by the "Predator" legacy.

One such moment occurs when Naru and Itsee (Harlan Blayne Kytwayhat) are fleeing the carnage being unleashed by the Predator just after their hunting party first meets the creature in all of its terrifying glory. Naru heads into a field of tall grass and Itsee grabs her from his hiding spot and motions for her to be quiet while silently telling her that he has eyes on the creature. She then sees the Predator's targeting reticle on Itsee's forehead realizing that the Predator sees him too. She buys Itsee's a few more seconds of life by causing the Predator to miss his target. But of course, the Predator runs poor Itsee down in the field and guts him.

This scene is a direct homage to the moment in the original predator film that plays out the same way between Dillon (Carl Weathers) and Mac (Bill Duke). Mac believes he's in a prime hiding spot and quietly tells Dillon that he sees the creature in the trees ahead and is ready to strike. Unfortunately for Mac, the Predator sees him also. Dillon isn't quick on the draw like Naru, so the Predator does deliver a killing blast to Mac's dome using his targeting system.

If it bleeds, we can kill it

When going up against a creature as horrific as the predator, it might seem like the fight is hopeless. Naru witnesses the Predator single-handedly kill a full-grown grizzly bear and then proceed to lift the beast over its head in a moment of celebration over the kill. She then sees the alien systematically slaughter the most skilled warriors in her tribe with ease. Additionally, the Predator clearly has all of the advantages. For starters, the creature is hulking by nature. There's no hand-to-hand combat with the beast where a human is the victor. It also has the deadliest, high-tech weaponry. For much of this film, the Predator remains cloaked by its light-bending technology making it nearly invisible to the naked eye. Alongside its staple cloaking system, claws, and spear, the predator also has plenty of gadgets all designed to kill.

At one point in the film, the fur trappers capture Naru and her brother Taabe and tie them to a tree as bait for the creature. The joke's on them, however, since the Predator ignores the sibling duo entirely. During the chaos of the moment, however, Taabe suggests that he and his sister can bring it down. Naru says that she doesn't think they can kill it. Taabe responds, "If it bleeds, we can kill it." If you didn't pick up that line, then you're not much of a "Predator" fan. This quote is one of the famous one-liners uttered by Arnold Schwarzenegger's Dutch in the original film after being told the creature hunting his commandos was injured and leaving blood behind on the leaves.

Naru goads the Predator into a trap

All of the "Predator" films have one thing in common. The ending always boils down to a one-on-one fight with the Predator. The first film famously pits the Dutch against the creature. The sequel sees Danny Glover's Mike Harrigan take on the vicious alien in the urban sprawl of Los Angeles. In "Predators," the elite commando Royce (Adrien Brody) takes on a Predator while stranded on an alien planet. 2018's "The Predator" ends with professional sniper Quinn Mckenna (Boyd Holbrook) as the last man standing in a fight with a super predator. So, naturally "Prey" would conclude a head-to-head confrontation featuring a lone warrior.

Naru is that lone warrior. Ultimately, she lures the predator into a trap. Earlier in the film, she discovers a quick-sinking bog in which she uses her axe and rope to pull herself out. She had also acquired the predator's mask during a previous scuffle. She sets the mask up to target the bog. After she lures the predator into the bog, she beckons the creature to come for her saying "Come on, do it!" Once the predator fires its weapon, the shot diverts away from Naru because of the active targeting system of the mask. After a few ricochets, the shot returns to the Predator's skull.

This is another inspired reference from the original film where Dutch sets a trap for the Predator. After being severely injured, he crawls through the mud down into a ditch that contains a trap that would impale the creature with spikes should the predator trip the right wire. Dutch goads the hunter into coming at him yelling "Come on, do it!" over and over.

The God of War connection

In this film, the Predator brings some new deadly toys to play with. The alien race of hunters is known for its vast array of gadgets and hunting weaponry. Each succeeding "Predator" film always adds something new to the mix when it comes to the Predator's arsenal. "Prey" is no different. In fact, video game fans might be intrigued by the clear inspiration for a couple of the film's latest additions.

The Predator is sporting a new shield that unfolds from its gauntlet. If that sounds familiar then you are likely a fan of the 2018 action-adventure game "God of War." The game follows Kratos, a demigod remnant of the Greek pantheon of deities. Now in ancient Scandinavia, he combats the monstrosities of Norse mythology. One of his tools of the trade is a slick shield that emerges from a gauntlet.

The "God of War" inspiration doesn't stop there, however. Naru uses an axe that she lobs at her prey with precision. However, she finds that recovering her axe expends precious time on a hunt. She affixes a rope to the axe so that she can recall the weapon with a yank of her wrist. Kratos can recall his axe in the game much like Thor can summon Mjolnir. Speaking with ComicBook.com, Dan Trachtenberg stated, "I teased a while ago that I took inspiration from the latest God of War video game, and those two things are in the trailer," he stated. "One is his shield, that you see briefly. And the other is not a Predator gadget, but just the way that Naru, wields her axe, she invents something very cool for that Tomahawk."

Gauntlet explosive

Predator fans might recall the explosive ending of the original film – literally. Jokes aside, the Predator didn't want to die without bringing everything that he could with him. After Dutch fatally wounds the alien hunter, the creature arms a bomb on his wrist gauntlet and begins laughing maniacally at Dutch in a bit of a "gotcha" moment. Somehow, Dutch seemingly escapes the blast on foot despite it appearing to be the equivalent of a low-yield atom bomb.

"Prey" references this moment but innovates the explosives in the gauntlet for something a bit new and less devastating. After Naru leaves the fur trappers behind to be eviscerated by the predator because come on, they never really stood a chance, we see a moment where the hunters find the creature's gauntlet laying on the ground with a similar countdown indicator. Three flying drones emerge from the gauntlet, and the hunters begin running. But it's too late. The little devices hone in on the poor saps and explode.

The flintlock pistol

The "Predator" franchise has often referenced a greater universe outside of the simple man versus beast conflict happening on the ground. "Predator 2" blows open the universe of the creatures wide with a killer reveal at the tail end of the film. When Mike Harrigan follows the Predator into the alien's ship, he gets the better of the hunter and slays him. In the predator ship, we can see a trophy room complete with a Xenomorph skull of alien fame. Even more intriguing is when all the fallen predator's comrades appear to pay respect to Mike for his combat prowess. As a parting gift, they give him a flintlock pistol that is dated 1715. It was a cool reveal to demonstrate that the predators have been visiting and hunting prey on Earth for centuries.

"Prey" takes place in 1719, just four years after the date on the pistol in "Predator 2." A flintlock pistol does take center stage in the third act of the film. One of the injured fur trappers gives it to Naru in exchange for her help tending to his wounds. At the end of the film, after Naru slays the Predator, she returns to her village and lays the head of the beast at the feet of the elders. She also tosses them the pistol. Upon careful examination, we see that the pistol is inscribed with the name Raphael Adolini and the year 1715. This is the same inscription on the pistol from "Predator 2" ultimately tying this film to the greater Predator universe. It's quite possibly the film's coolest Easter egg.

Polishing the wolf skull

As the Predator makes his way across the Great Plains, he hunts other native predators on the land. In the early moments of the film, we see him kill and skin a rattlesnake. At one point, he spies on a wolf hunting a rabbit. After the wolf lands his mark, the Predator attacks and spars with the wolf. Unfortunately for the canine, a sharp set of chompers is no match for this highly skilled and heavily armed hunter. After charging the Predator, the wolf is swiftly gutted. The alien then removes its spine and head in typical Predator fashion.

In the previous films, we always saw the Predator polishing human skulls and creating trophies out of the people he managed to kill. While we don't get to see this Predator do as much with its human prey, we do witness the predator polishing and cleaning the wolf's skull in a clear reference to the Predator tradition of claiming trophies.

The Predator's code of honor

As far as movie monsters are concerned, the predator has a legacy and reputation to uphold. The creature is one of the fiercest in movie history as it tends to rack up a rather high body count before finally meeting its demise at the hands of the film's last remaining hero. Unlike the Predator's Xenomorph contemporaries, it doesn't just kill indiscriminately. There are rules a predator must seemingly follow while out on the hunt. Both "Predator" and "Predator 2" established that the alien hunter doesn't play unfairly. It refuses to harm children, anyone that is unarmed, or pregnant women. After making this observation, the protagonists typically remark that the Predator finds no sport in killing something that can't defend itself. Whether it's a code of honor or a true lack of sport, the predator has always abided by that rule.

"Prey" shows that this was never any different centuries ago. After Naru flees the beast while he slaughters the rest of her hunting party, she gets snagged on a bear trap. The predator approaches her but doesn't end her life simply because she was incapacitated by someone else's trap and was not a threat. Naru understands this and shares this observation with her brother Taabe later.

A perfect climate for bloodshed

There's a time and season for everything. In the world of "Predator," there's most certainly a season for hunting. The previous films in the franchise have long established that predators only hunt in warm climates. For instance, the first film saw the Predator hunting commandos in the jungles of Central America. "Predator 2" was set during a record heatwave in Los Angeles. Even the more recent "The Predator" remarked that visits from the creatures were becoming more frequent with the advent of global warming and climate change.

In "Prey," the Great Plains aren't exactly considered a "hot spot" in the world at large. However, it's clear that the events unfold during the summer season. It's a minor detail, but one that won't go unnoticed by fans of the franchise. Perhaps, the sweltering heat makes everything stand out that much better when using heat vision. Or,  maybe the predators are simply cold-blooded aliens and need the heat to survive. 

The predators return?

It's no secret that the predators have a lengthy history of hunting humans on Earth. And typically, where there's one predator, there are many. "Predator 2" showed us that clearly in the film's climax. Since hunting is a sport and the alien race apparently enjoys the thrill of the kill, it's always going to have its fair share of spectators. Can you imagine what the predator equivalent of ESPN is on their homeworld? It's likely to live coverage of gladiatorial bouts or active hunts on other planets.

There is one detail that many might miss who don't like sitting through the credits. The first portion of the film's credits is relayed through a series of Native American drawings recreating the events of the film as if they were cemented in history. The end scene is even depicted where Naru delivers the predator's head to her elders. One moment is also shown that wasn't captured in live action which is a quick drawing of alien ships descending onto the village just after Naru's celebratory moment. The predators could be returning to collect the body of their fallen comrade which they are known to do. Or, perhaps, they're initiating another hunt. One thing is certain, the predators somehow gain possession of that flintlock pistol that Naru gave to her elders. So is a sequel in order? Let's hope so!