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January 1, 2023

A Binge too Far #28 – Rise of the Predator (2018 & 2022)

A stunning frame from Prey (2022)

Happy New Year! For me New Year’s Eve is always about changes and setting new goals. Well, for starters, I thought I’d change the way my posts work in Cinema Head Cheese. You’ll still be getting one post per month by yours truly but for 2023 you’ll get A Binge too Far posts on the 1st of January, February, March, May, June, July, September, October, November, and you’ll get Static Age posts on the 1st of April, August, and December (essentially becoming a quarterly column). In other words, every three A Binge too Far posts, will be followed by one Static Age post. I decided upon this new arrangement in order for Static Age to grow even bigger and include more content each time (I’m thinking more than 2,000 words and more than ten series tackled per post), while of course A Binge too Far will remain pretty much the same, with a special that’ll included a couple of reviews in each post. Got it? This time we’ll take a brief look on the two recent Predator releases.




The Predator (2018) poster

The Predator


Another tagline reads “You’ll never see him coming.”, to which I should add that we would probably be better off if we didn’t anyway, but here we are with another Predator film (1987 – present) on our hands. But is it any good? The short answer is, unfortunately not. Although director Shane Black (who also co-penned the screenplay with Fred Dekker) went for an R-rating (as promised in his interviews), and the beheadings and overall mayhem are intact, there’s not much else to enjoy here. For starters, the plot is thinner than the ones usually employed by SyFy product, and the acting is bordering on the laughable. If you care to see it, all you need to know in advance, story-wise, is that the film concerns a Predator that is on custody by human scientists that keep him under heavy sedation, and – surprise! – he escapes, and now humanity is in danger. Will we be able to save our asses?


Produced by Lawrence Gordon (who had also backed the original film) on a $88 million budget, this premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival 2018 before embarking on a general theatrical release which doubled its money (it went on to gross more than $160.5 million), so we might see more of the hard boiled aliens. However, the film will remain immortal in popular culture memory solely because of the controversy it caused to PC circles because sex offender Steve Wilder was cast in a minor role, which was then left in the editing floor due to the fabricated outrage.


Prey (2022) poster



Naru (Amber Midthunder) is a young Comanche woman who faces sexism from her tribe who’d prefer to have her as a cook due to her gender, but she wants to be a hunter and becomes one of the best after meticulous training, which comes handy when her small community in the forest is attacked by an alien predator.


Working as a prequel, this fifth installment in the long-running franchise is both entertaining (mainly due to its several outstanding gore and action set-pieces) and masterful (due to several well-staged one-shots and a stunning cinematography), resulting in what is possibly the best chapter in the series since the original.


Directed by Dan Trachtenberg (who also penned the story, with Patrick Aison, who in turn wrote the screenplay), this started development during the production of the 2018 film reviewed above and it was shot in Calgary in 2021 on a massive $65 million budget. It premiered at the San Diego Comic-Con before receiving a release as a Hulu original to positive reviews from fans and critics alike.

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