Predator: Prey Needs To Steal The Alien Franchise's Smartest Trick

The Predator franchise needs Prey to steal the Alien franchise's smartest trick. The newest entry in the Predator series follows an Indigenous warrior woman who must protect her village against the threat of the technologically-advanced Predators. Due to the success of Aliens vs. Predator and Aliens vs. Predator: Resurrection, the Predator series is closely linked to the Alien films in audiences' minds. However, while the Alien films are generally well-received, the Predator films haven't had a hit in awhile. It is time for the Predator franchise to learn from their prey.

Prey marks the first time a Predator film stars a female protagonist. While Predator is widely considered a masculine series, there have been recent attempts to reboot the series with modern sensibilities. For example, the Predator sequel films Predators (2010) and The Predator (2018) depict strong supporting female characters, but their character development is shallow. At the same time, while Predator (1987) works as a solid science fiction/action film, each of the following films repeats the same action movie tropes and doesn’t seem interested in doing much character work. With some exceptions, the Alien franchise has always achieved a good balance of action and character development.


Related: Prey Already Looks So Much Better Than Past Predator Sequels

The first four Alien films feature the fantastic female lead of Sigourney Weaver as Ripley who was originally written without an assigned gender. Ripley provides a welcome break from the male-led science fiction films and her iconic character has made her a pop culture icon for years. In addition to a female protagonist, Prey should change the Predator franchise by introducing a female Predator. The Predator franchise never shows a female Predator, but at some point, there must've been a mother who hatched the Predators. There is much more known about the Alien mythology in comparison to the Predators. Prey could further develop the creatures as James Cameron did with Aliens.

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The Aliens are typically viewed as female but there is one queen that the colony serves. In Aliens, Ripley faces off with the Queen in a battle no one would dare call a “cat fight.” Prey could provide a similar fight between the lead Naru and a female Predator. While James Cameron's Aliens is viewed by many as a masterpiece, Prey could also enter pop culture stardom by crafting a truly epic fight. Whether females don’t exist in the Predator universe because of sexism or extinction, 300 years provides plenty of room to play around with the Predator as a species.

While Predators have been associated with Aliens due to the Aliens vs. Predator films, the species is very different than Aliens, not just in design and mythology. For one, Xenomorphs were designed to evoke sexual imagery, particularly noted in the phallic shape of the head. However, the sexual imagery doesn’t stop there, the body horror of male impregnation can make some squirm in their seat. Combining sex and death creates a compelling nightmare that will resonate beyond the movie theater. This is one of the many reasons why Alien is a successful science fiction series. While the Predator franchise has been a safe space for men to enjoy action-fueled monster fights, it may be time to shake the franchise up. Since the first Predator film works as a horror film, Prey can go back to its sci-fi horror roots. The failure of Predator reboots shows that the franchise doesn’t need a masculine touch but rather a feminine one.