Predator already annihilated the Comanche Indians 300 years ago

Among the bloodiest aliens in film history, Predator has a prominent place. Since his arrival in 1987, in the film directed by John McTiernan, he demonstrated his talent for hunting human beings, from whom he collected their skulls. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger had a hard time defeating a violent and ruthless being. The success of the film, which with a budget of 15 million dollars managed to touch the 100 worldwide, caused a sequel set in a dystopian Los Angeles that could not repeat the blockbuster.

Despite everything, Predator (or Predator), became one of those iconic characters that become part of the collective imagination. Perhaps for this reason, from time to time Hollywood tries to rescue the franchise. He tried it by mixing Predator with Alien, and also giving Shane Black a new installment in 2018, which didn't work out the way it should commercially. Four years later, he's at it again with Predator: Prey (starting August 5 on Disney+). Perhaps to avoid a possible box office disaster, or simply because the forms of consumption have changed, the new installment arrives directly on the streaming platform.

This new installment is the best that has been made since the original from 1987, and that is due to the direction of Dan Trachtenberg, who has already demonstrated his ability to create tension and unhealthy environments in Calle Cloverfield 10, and who here confirms it with a film that places its action in 1709 and gives prominence to the Comanche Indians. Draws a parallel between Predator and the natives. Both are the hunted hunter. It builds an almost silent survival thriller, with few dialogues, very physical and with original and violent action scenes. As if that were not enough, the efforts of Trachtenberg and producer Jhane Myers, who belongs to the Comanche tribe, have made it possible to see the film dubbed into the traditional language of the Indians. An achievement in terms of representation.

The director had in mind to make a film in which the action would advance the narrative and follow in the footsteps of a recent film that marked him, such as Mad Max: Fury Road. A film that was "a visceral experience, but also an emotional one." He also thought of a sports movie cliché, the character that in the US is called an underdog. That player who is never taken off the bench, but who has his chance to shine on the most important night. Here the underdog is the little sister of a tribal leader who wants to demonstrate her hunting skills. She will face the greatest threat: a Predator that skins and dismembers animals and people.

Two other elements were in the concept: blending a historical period with science fiction and bringing in "a cast you don't normally see in the movies." "The Native American Indians are usually the villain or the character that accompanies the protagonist," says Trachtenberg of Predator's origin: the prey. For Myers, this project is a dream. She was able to make a film of a saga that she loved and on top of that mixing it with the natives, something that makes her proud "as a member of the Comanche nation."

This pride is also felt by the absolute protagonist Amber Middlehunter, a member of the Fort Peck Sioux reservation: "For me the film is very important because of what it means in terms of the representation of the natives and because of how precise it is in how it shows the Comanche culture and that period of time. Jhane Myers, who is our producer and is a Comanche, made sure everything was accurately addressed, and this is what excites me most about the film."

Midhunter holds the film over his face. She barely has lines of dialogue in a physical and forceful performance that makes her a perfect heroine. A finding of casting that for the director was fundamental: "We were very lucky to find someone like her, who is an actress capable of transmitting so much without saying a word and of making even physical challenges turn into dramatic moments through those who tell stories to make it feel dramatic, which is not that easy.

There was a lot of criticism when the first trailer for Predator: Prey was released, as it was taught in English. Many pointed out why the Comanche language had not been maintained, something to which the film's producer answered by settling the controversy and explaining that the film can be seen in this language: "I am a Comanche, and the film is in the Comanche language. This It's the first time that a movie can be seen entirely in the Comanche language, and that's very good. So, if you want, you can see it in Spanish, and then in Comanche, and then you have to see it twice." A new look at the Predator universe that resurrects the franchise and gives it the fresh air it needed.

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