Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Prey’ on Hulu, a chintzy lions-attack survival story starring Emile Hirsch (2024)

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Prey (2024)

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Prey (now streaming on Hulu) is destined to be confused with the many, many other movies titled Prey – and I have two theories as to why the filmmakers stuck with this generic title. The first is, it’s a pun, since the movie is about Christian missionaries who like to p-r-A-y pray, and then, once they’re stalked by lions, they become p-r-E-y prey. The second is, everyone involved was so ashamed with the quality of this D-grade genre crapola, they kind of hoped it’d get lost in the shuffle, because its cast of rent-a-stars – Emile Hirsch, Ryan Philippe, Mena Suvari – can’t do a damn thing with this junky material.

PREY: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?

The Gist: THE AFRICAN SAVANNAH. There’s some elephants! And zebras. Antelopes. Also – ulp – lions. Are the wild-animal establishing shots stock footage, or did the makers of Prey employ wildlife photographers to sit quietly in the bush for hours and days and weeks at a time to capture this breathtaking imagery? I shan’t hazard a guess. Anyway, somewhere among this desolate beauty is an encampment. In a tent, Andrew (Philippe), a doctor, grieves. A boy is on his operating table, dead. The supplies he needed to save the kid never arrived. Nearby, Andrew’s wife Sue (Suvari) conducts a bible study with some children. Thabo (Jeremy Tardy) rouses the couple from their doings with news that local militants are about to arrive and send them to their great and merciful god, so it’s time to pack up and GTFO. This missionary trip is kaputskies, bro.

Their means of GTFOing is problematic, though: A jalopy of a Cessna piloted by a cretin named Gurn (Hirsch) who shakes the couple down for a pile of cash and won’t let them take their luggage. We see Gurn bribe the local officials, so you know he’s up to no good and also participating in the obvious unscrupulous destiny of a man named Gurn. Who would name their child Gurn? It dooms an individual to being a rat fink-ass human. Robert, Frank, Pat, Jehosophat, Joey Jo Jo Jr. Shabadoo, there are so many other names out there better than Gurn. Come on. Anyway, Andrew and Sue aren’t alone in the plane – Thabo is coming with them, and there’s three young turdburglars crammed in there too, emitting the vibes of rich kids taking an expensive vacation with Daddy’s money and getting more than they bargained for. Which they do, because the plane promptly crashes. Well, sh*t.

The smoke clears and the plane is in a few pieces, with amazingly clean cuts even, like someone with a cutting torch neatly sheared off the co*ckpit, then arranged bits and chunks hither and thither and put a passenger chair very artfully skewed in the foreground of the shot. Andrew wakes up in a dustpile, as if from a bad dream. One of the turdburglars didn’t survive, and Sue is injured in the cabin with a cut on her calf that renders her the flimsiest human being in the history of human beings. She just can’t get up and walk. I mean, they had to use like nine, maybe 10 inches of gauze to wrap the cut. As the guy said, IT’S ONLY A FLESH WOUND, but there she is, coagulating away, which is just the type of thing a lion might smell from a mile off, maybe two miles. Gurn gurns around a bit – note, Webster’s defines “gurning” as “being a cranky butthole who’s pretty much just in it for himself” – and decides they need to hoof it to the nearest settlement, but Andrew and Sue decide to stay at the crash site. Why? God will save them, they insist. Say what you will about Gurn, but at least he realizes that god also made hungry lions.

Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Prey’ on Hulu, a chintzy lions-attack survival story starring Emile Hirsch (3)

What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: Remember when Idris Elba fought a lion with his damn bare hands in Beast, and it was kinda dumb fun? Well, that’s 1,000 times better than this budget-stricken crudola.

Performance Worth Watching: Hirsch camps it up a bit, but doesn’t camp it up enough to make this movie watchable.

Memorable Dialogue: “Is faith just the absence of common sense?” Gurn asks of Andrew and Sue, foreshadowing a theological debate that never happens in the movie, because it’s too dumb to have any ideas.

Sex and Skin: None. The lord is watching, y’know.

Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Prey’ on Hulu, a chintzy lions-attack survival story starring Emile Hirsch (4)

Our Take: Fourteen minutes into Prey and you’re already going NAH. The plot’s too logic-deprived, the characters too wispy-thin, the situation too predictable, the seams of the production too visible. Twenty minutes in, and as the film cuts away to yet another shot of generic NatGeo nature footage, and we get more implied action because the movie doesn’t have the budget to actually show any – well, that’s our cue to hit eject and head back to Blockbuster and pick out something that isn’t such a stink-o loser.

Then again, perhaps you could dig into Prey and make the best of it, assuming you can appreciate the bevy of cliches on display: Drink when the characters make questionable decisions. Drink when a heartfelt exchange between characters inevitably results in one of them being messily devoured by lions – off-screen, of course. Drink when one of the characters treks across a desert and falls down, moaning “Water… water.” Drink every time the lions act like no lion would ever act in reality, e.g., growling while stalking its prey. Drink when our protags are put upon by scorpions and/or snakes while they’re being stalked by lions. Drink when the film trots out icky African-guerrilla-terrorist stereotypes. Drink every time Hirsch’s eyes widen in an attempt to make this movie even slightly more watchable. Drink when the deus ex machina hurtles itself down from the heavens at the most opportune time. This movie is not a comedy unless you make it so.

Our Call: Maybe Prey is unintentionally funny, but I’m not convinced it’s still worth gutting out. SKIP IT.

John Serba is a freelance writer and film critic based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Prey’ on Hulu, a chintzy lions-attack survival story starring Emile Hirsch (2024)

FAQs

Is prey streaming anywhere? ›

In 1719 a skilled Comanche warrior protects her tribe from a highly evolved alien predator that hunts humans for sport. Streaming on Roku. Prey, an action movie starring Amber Midthunder, Dane DiLiegro, and Harlan Kytwayhat is available to stream now. Watch it on Disney Plus or Hulu on your Roku device.

Is Prey available on Netflix? ›

Watch Prey | Netflix Official Site.

What is the series Prey on Hulu about? ›

Series Info

Synopsis In the aftermath of her marriage, Detective Sergeant Susan Reinhardt puts long hours into her job as she struggles to cope with her inner demons while fighting to unravel the truth by taking on two intense cases. Both cases appear to involve corruption by U.K. law enforcement officials.

Is Prey worth watching? ›

The scenery is fantastic. But regardless it's a surprising return to roots as far as the back to basics setting and suspense aspects. It's another welcome sequel and should be seen by any predator fan or action fan.

Is Prey already on Hulu? ›

Prey will be available to purchase on physical media October 3. It is available to stream now on Hulu.

Is Prey on anything other than Hulu? ›

Both language versions, Comanche and English, are available on Hulu and Disney+.

Is prey on Amazon Prime? ›

Watch Prey | Prime Video.

Does Hulu or Netflix have prey? ›

Stream It Or Skip It: 'Prey' on Hulu, a Chintzy Lions-Attack Survival Story Starring Emile Hirsch.

What is the point of the movie Prey on Netflix? ›

A new German survival thriller on Netflix. The premise is simple: 5 guys on a trip in the jungle got hunted down by a mysterious hunter. Most of the runtime was these guys running in the woods. The suspense relied on the mystery of the hunter, who was deadly and familiar with the territory.

Why is Prey on Hulu and not Disney? ›

Predator is owned by, and Prey was made by, 20th Century Studios (formerly 20th Century Fox). Disney acquired 20th Century Fox in 2019. Disney also owns a majority stake in Hulu, which is where it likes to put its more adult-oriented content that doesn't fall under the Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, or Marvel brands.

How many episodes are there of Prey? ›

Why is Prey so popular? ›

Ultimately what makes Prey work is its simplicity. It never strays from its concept, instead slowly building up the tension before reaching a very exciting battle. It also adds to Predator's fascinating lore.

Do I need to watch anything before Prey? ›

1. Prey (2022) Prey is a prequel and therefore designed to be watched after everything else (especially Predator 2) but if one is truly looking to take in the Predator franchise in chronological order this is the place to begin.

Is the Prey series worth watching? ›

Prey: Season 1 Reviews

And the answer to that is a resounding 'yes'. Fresh score. Fresh score. Bolstered by a stacked roster of very capable British actors, Simm, Glenister and Cavaliero go a long way toward helping you not worry about wasting your time.

Is Prey on Amazon Prime? ›

Watch Prey | Prime Video.

Is the Predator 2018 streaming anywhere? ›

The Predator, an adventure movie starring Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, and Jacob Tremblay is available to stream now. Watch it on Disney Plus, Hulu, DIRECTV, Sling TV - Live Sports, News, Shows + Freestream, Prime Video, Apple TV or Fandango at Home on your Roku device.

Is Prey available on Disney Plus? ›

Watch Prey | Disney+ Set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago, this is the story of Naru, a fierce and highly skilled warrior, raised in the shadow of legendary hunters who roam the Great Plains. When danger threatens her camp, she sets out to protect her people.

Can you watch Prey on its own? ›

Nonetheless, Prey also works perfectly well as a stand-alone film for those who missed the earlier releases.

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