‘Prey’ Review: The ‘Predator’ Franchise Reaches a New Apex

This is as far as you go.”

For a while, it seemed like the Predator franchise had reached its limit. Two movie monster fights, that one with Adrien Brody, and a confounding Shane Black reboot left the series scrambling for an identity. Back to basics, then. That’s where PREY rediscovers itself as a gnarly creature-feature and rad action movie-play on Darwinism. “No more. This is it.” No more crossovers, no Adrien Brody cosplaying as tough guy, and no need for cleverness other than the protagonist outsmarting the big trophy hunter with a thing for spinal columns. Director Dan Trachtenberg nods to the heyday of Schwarzenegger, unearths a soulful frontier through a new lead and time period, and moves the franchise needle forward, finally. PREY is just a good old-fashioned survival story; a most dangerous game of death. It’s projectiles vs. tomahawks and It. Fucking. OWNS.

Continue reading

‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ Review: Nobody Puts Mary Elizabeth Winstead in a Bunker

Mary-Elizabeth-Winstead-John-Goodman-10-Cloverfield-LaneWhen Cloverfield came out in 2008, no one knew what to make of it. It was a monster movie that ignored all the rules. The film was shot found-footage style; it cast a bunch of unknowns to lend truth to the premise; and the origins of the monster remained a mystery to the very end. So it’s surprising that 10 Cloverfield Lane shares some DNA with its “predecessor” considering it’s the anti-Cloverfield in so many ways, which is probably why people are still scratching their heads over it. Director Dan Trachtenberg ditches the shaky cam and the canvas of a city under siege and confines us to a bunker where a different kind of monster lurks altogether. As the tagline suggests, “Monsters come in many forms.” The movie itself is about many things, but ultimately 10 Cloverfield Lane tells a harrowing story about abuse – a fable that, in the light of so many domestic violence and college rape accounts, hits strikingly close to home.  Continue reading