The newest addition to the Predator franchise Prey (2022) has been hailed for its unique take on the film series, as well as its portrayal and representation of Native Americans and their culture. It stands on its own as a solid adaptation of a classic, but it has a huge flaw that most of us are completely ignoring. Regardless of the setting, this film is just like the rest, and we need to start expecting more if we're going to bring life to what is most likely a failing franchise.
More of the Same
Since the franchise's inception, most Predator films have followed the same basic plot. Usually, a group of humans finds out that they're being hunted by aliens who kill for sport. A battle ensues, and the humans emerge victorious, covered in multi-colored blood. There are exceptions to this, but all of the films are centered around the hacker/slasher format.
We Still Know Very Little About the Predators
We've had these aliens in our lives for 35 years, and most people don't even know that they're called Yautja--a detail gleaned from an ancient interview. In fact, almost everything we know about them comes from either interviews with the creators or the comic books and novels, the majority of which still stick to the fighting, just like the films.
Let's Explore the Universe
Blood and guts can be fun, but they're superficial. There's an entire fictional universe to explore. It's already laid out before us, but we're cowering behind trees and shooting bows and arrows at these creatures instead of finding out what they are. The truth is they have a culture, a home planet, technology, emotions, and biology. They even have mercy. They're a violent species, but they can be understood on human terms. Point is, let's learn more. Let's see some amazing CGI of their home planet--an environment unlike any other on screen. Let's see their governments and their religion. What about their history? For once, let's do something original. Why do we have to stick to portraying the hunt when there's so much to be learned?