Prey

My favourite films of 2022

As a new year begins it’s time to look back at the favourites of the year. These films are all pretty different but they were all films I enjoyed and made me laugh and/or cry or just made me feel big emotions.

RRR
Films like this is the reason why I don’t put together “favourites of the year” lists until right at the end of the year, or at the very beginning of the next because I watched RRR towards the end of December and if I’d already put together a favourites list then it wouldn’t have made it on the list. RRR is big and bombastic and it’s just a load of fun with fantastic songs and dance numbers.

Fire Island
Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite classics so I tend to have a soft spot for any retellings and Fire Island was so much fun! It’s so funny and gay and clever and a top tier Jane Austen retelling. It’s so fun, has big romcom moments and the found family trope I love so much and Conrad Ricamora is a perfect awkward Mr Darcy.

The Woman King
The Woman King is a stunning film on every level. The whole cast is brilliant and I got goosebumps multiple times due to the action, score, and performances.

Language Lessons
I love all these films on this list but this might be my favourite. Language Lessons gave me all the emotions and I loved how it was a story about the power of friendship and the power of human connection no matter the distance.

Plan B
It’s kind of a shame that there is now so many films about women’s struggle to get reproductive healthcare and nearly every one of them gets me in a different way. My favourite of this unfortunate subgenre is Plan B, directed by Natalie Morales, the director and co-writer of Language Lessons. It’s so funny and the ride or die friendship at the core of it is excellent and how the parents are surprisingly awesome too really sealed it as a favourite.

Everything Everywhere All at Once
Everything Everywhere All at Once is weird and funny and action-packed and heartfelt and beautiful and wonderful. I didn’t know what to expect when I watched it (had just heard positive buzz but had no real idea what it was about) and just wow. Truly a special film and the whole cast is outstanding.

Top Gun: Maverick
Considering I wasn’t fussed about the original Top Gun (it’s fine but I didn’t get the hype), I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed Top Gun: Maverick. I think one of the reasons I loved it so much is it’s part of my favourite subgenre of film – people being really competent at their jobs. It’s just so satisfying.

Confess, Fletch
I’m so pleased I got to see this film in the cinema. It’s proper old-school and charming in the best way. It’s a fun and clever mystery with a load of twists and a wonderful lead in Jon Hamm. I definitely think this favourite is probably the most underseen on this list.

The Banshees of Inisherin
I’m a big Martin McDonagh-fan so there was always a good chance I’d like his latest film but I really liked The Banshees of Inisherin. It’s funny and sad and kinda depressing at times – the dark humour is in full force – and the whole cast is incredible and I’d love for Colin Farrell, Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon to get all the awards.

Prey
I’m well-known for being a wuss but I can just about handle Predator movies and Prey is a fantastic prequel. The tension and scares are great and having it focused on a female tracker and how the “less-advanced” technology goes up against this alien creature was interesting and thrilling.

What were some of your favourite films of the past year?

REVIEW: Prey (2022)

On the Great Plains in 1719, Naru (Amber Midthunder), a fierce and skilled Comanche tracker and wannabe hunter, discovers strange tracks in the forest. While some may think it’s a bear, she thinks it’s something else and as she tracks it, she encounters a highly evolved predator that is unlike anything they’ve ever seen before.

Prey is a Predator prequel and to say that films featuring the Predator creature have been a bit of a mixed bag over the years would be an understatement. Thankfully Prey, is firmly in the good category when it comes to this franchise. It’s a film that really goes back to the basics; small group of people, remote location, inventive kills, and a great lead.

For the first 30 minutes or so the focus is on Naru, her relationship with her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers), and how she’s a bit of an underdog and an outsider when it comes to her peers. Naru is a skilled tracker and is knowledgeable about medicine but what she wants is to be a hunter and respected by the other (male) hunters. Prey is a bit of a coming-of-age story in that aspect as Naru fights for respect and prestige as well as survival. It is a bit like any teen drama in that aspect but Amber Midthunder is so good and as the thrills and tension when Naru faces the Predator are there it’s easy to embrace that movie cliché.

It’s easy to like and empathise with Naru and she really goes through it as she fights to survive. She fails and struggles a lot but she learns something from every encounter she has with the Predator and learns to adapt.

Prey looks and sounds good too. The fact that it appears to have been shot on location makes everything feel more real (especially after a lot of more recent big action films never consistently looking quite right). While you don’t necessarily see all the kills in their bloody glory. the sound design is excellent and even if you don’t see blood or a brutalised body, you can easily imagine it thanks to the sounds of all the slicing, tearing, and impaling going on. The score by Sarah Schachner is great too and adds to the tension and the often-haunting atmosphere of the film.

Prey has great tension, a tight runtime, and an excellent lead making it a really engaging horror action film. Plus, it’s nice to watch an action film without a lot of humour that undercuts any dramatic or poignant moments. 4/5.