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Prey's Predator Drew Major Inspiration From The Ultimate Sci-Fi Horror Classic

"Prey" has finally unleashed itself upon audiences. Directed by "10 Cloverfield Lane" helmer Dan Trachtenberg, the "Predator" prequel has made its way onto Hulu. Set in 18th century America, the action-horror film follows Indigenous hunter Naru (Amber Midthunder) from the Comanche tribe who starts tracking a nefarious predator who stalks the forests. Unbeknownst to Naru and her community, the creature is none other than a Predator, an alien from a distant planet who hunts humans for sport.

The "Predator" prequel has received near-unanimous praise from critics and currently holds a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In Looper's review of the film, critic Matthew Jackson praised director Trachtenberg for deconstructing the "Predator" template and for "[returning] to a time when hunting, from a human perspective, really meant something." "Prey" largely succeeds because of how it plays and toys with the original formula instead of attempting to capture lighting in a bottle twice.

The film fundamentally reconstructs the first time the Predators visited Earth, dating their relationship with our planet back to 1719, as opposed to 1987, when Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers were headlining the franchise. Naturally, the Predators have changed visually and physically. When it came to reinventing the horrific villain for the prequel, the creatives behind "Prey" took inspiration from another one of Hollywood's most popular sci-fi horror classics.

The Predator design in Prey was partially inspired by Alien

Each film in the "Predator" franchise has reinvented the character in interesting and clever ways, and "Prey" is no different. While speaking with ComicBook.com, director Dan Trachtenberg opened up about how the prequel features a practical Predator costume. "It was a couple of people driving [the mechanisms in the mask]. There are two versions of the face," Trachtenberg revealed.

The director went on to discuss how Predator actor Dane DiLiegro controlled the suit. "There was a stunt version that didn't have any motion, that was a little bit, just a hair safer for Dane to function. And there was another version that was just heavier on Dane because it had all the animatronics in it," Trachtenberg said regarding the two costumes available.

The director continued by discussing how this iteration of the creature took influence from the "Alien" films, which the "Predator" franchise has famously crossed over with on multiple occasions, most notably in the 2004 film "Alien vs. Predator." Trachtenberg revealed, "One of the things we added in this movie that strangely wasn't, I don't think was in the other 'Predator' films, was goop. We brought in some alien goop, the stuff that we've seen [in] the 'Alien' movies." 

Purists might be put-off that "Prey" introduces a new look for the Predator,  but Trachtenberg thinks it's a decision that makes the Predator all the more terrifying. "So the mandibles and the face and all that stuff just felt that much more violent and gross," he said.