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Prey is a different beast than most recent franchise blockbusters

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Prior to its release a few days ago, few would have predicted that the new Predator movie, Prey, was likely to capture the zeitgeist, never mind the hearts of Film Twitter.

Reviews were positive, but this was still a mid-budget, pared-down franchise update that was going straight to streaming on Hulu while all the Hollywood traffic, inspired by a resurgent box office, was going the other way.

And yet, here was revered arthouse filmmaker Barry Jenkins, spending his Saturday night breathlessly live-tweeting his way through watching the new film, heaping praise on it and its director Dan Trachtenberg. “I mean she beat him DOWN — girl is TUFF,” he enthused after one fight scene featuring the heroine, Comanche hunter Naru (Amber Midthunder). “This is a lean, mean, impressive bit of filmmaking.

The craft is on POINT,” tweeted Jenkins, who knows what he’s talking about. The fight choreography was “impeccable.” The film’s themes might be “a visceral genre excavation of manifest destiny.” Jenkins signed off: if you “like visceral, awesome ass films you REALLY should watch PREY, certified hype.” He wasn’t alone.

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