I saw Prometheus this past week and I can’t stop thinking about it. The film is full of wonder, the quest for meaning, and features some pulse pounding thrills and incredible imagery. I can’t wait to see how the world reacts to it!
So when I was scrolling through my Netflix Watch Instant Queue, I was struck by the description of a film I had arbitrarily added to my Queue many months ago because of it’s cool cover artwork: Hunter Prey. The description mentioned something about a ship called Prometheus, and I snapped to attention. I had to check it out.
So, beyond the cool character designs on the cover and the [admittedly flimsy] connection to Prometheus, is this thing worth checking out? I would say yes.
Hunter Prey is the first feature film directed by Sandy Collora. This meant nothing to me until I did a quick search and found that Collora was responsible for that viral [before “viral” was a thing] short film Batman: Dead End from back in 2003. If you haven’t seen it before, check it out below. And let’s just say it is a mash up on a pretty grand scale.
But what about Hunter Prey? As I mentioned, I kind of dug this minor sci-fi adventure. Right off the bat, I’ll say that the acting is pretty dodgy, and this feature length project may have thrived in the short film format. But you’ve got to respect a guy for getting any feature film completed and distributed on a shoestring budget!
Aside from the stretched out feeling and a few lacking performance beats, Hunter Prey tells an ambitious tale. The space ship Prometheus crashes on a hostile and remote desert planet. 3 soldiers are tasked with re-capturing their escaped alien prisoner alive and meeting up with their extraction ship. A pretty standard “hunter vs prey” tale plays out from there though I was actually quite surprised by a couple of the twists the conflict sprung on me. Then again, there were other developments that I and many viewers might see coming from a mile away.
What impressed me and held me rapt was the incredible image quality of the film, and some pretty amazing practical effects work and production design. The limited budget of the film is evident from its small cast of characters and contained story. But Hunter Prey was shot using the Red One and on location in Mexican deserts. So the image quality here soars above your typical high concept indie genre entry.
The character designs are probably the biggest tool in Collera’s arsenal, though. For one thing, the characters wear some pretty neat costumes that, while highly reminiscent of Star Wars, just plain look cool. And there are make up effects on some of the creatures that rival major studio releases from this year.
Hunter Prey doesn’t even come close to capturing the awe and wonder of the other Prometheus film. But it was made on a budget that is a mere fraction of Prometheus’ and reaches for pretty ambitious heights nonetheless. It isn’t a genre classic, but it does show off the skill set of first time director Sandy Collera and I’d love to see another entry from him!
You can check out Hunter Prey for yourselves over on Netflix Watch Instant and Prometheus will be in theaters here in the US on Friday, June 8th.