With Prey‘s release reviving the Predator franchise, it’s the perfect time to take a look back and rank the entries in the franchise that we all hold dearly. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at how the various entries rank from 1986 to today.
7. Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
A sequel to an already weak spin-off wouldn’t have many chances of turning out any good, to begin with, and AVP: Requiem certainly fits the part. It doesn’t work as a Predator movie and it certainly doesn’t work as an Alien movie. The end result is so much less than the sum of both its parts that it is almost embarrassing how such iconic franchises would come together to provide such a lackluster idea of a movie.
6. The Predator (2018)
A prime example of how to go bigger just for the sake of going bigger without adding much to what made the initial Predator concept work so well. By having a new genetically enhanced Predator (a.k.a. Upgrade Predator), Predator hounds, and a few other standard innovations the movie quickly turns into a generic action feature with little regard for the subtleness and the Hunter vs Prey vs Hunter x-factor of the franchise.
5. Alien vs. Predator (2004)
The first installment of the AVP spin-off series introduces a few interesting concepts while trying to bring the two franchises together both through previously mentioned characters (Alien‘s Charles Bishop Weyland) and ideas (Predators hunting xenomorphs introduced in Predator 2). Even so, it show’s its hand way too soon, mostly disregarding the tension provided by the stealthiness and furtiveness that was a major staple of both its titular character’s series.
4. Predators (2010)
The concept of introducing humans into an alien game preserve jungle planet is an interesting one but it could have been pushed a bit further since it only seemed to be used to justify the eclectic group of characters and the lack of outside interference. Still, it manages to provide a few remarkable sequences while expanding on the Predator mythos.
3. Predator 2 (1990)
With the best opening sequence of the entire franchise, Predator 2 brought its titular character into the concrete jungle of near-future Los Angeles. The change of pace was a bold yet remarkable choice as the Predator’s brutality managed to fit right into a dystopian society where Jamaican and Colombian drug lords ruled over the city while the police just stood by and watched. It proved to be the stepping stone for both the AVP spin-offs (the xenomorph skull) and 2022’s Prey (the flintlock pistol from 1715).
2. Predator (1987)
An all-time classic with all the 80s action movie clichés that you can think of. Still, the movie works on a number of levels, with the authenticity given to it by the real-life backdrop of the Mexican jungle and the incredible prosthetics developed by master Stan Winston being two of the highlights. The now iconic theme was composed by Alan Silvestri (who later went on to write The Avengers theme).
1. Prey (2022)
This choice might suffer from recency bias but it could also be fair to say that looking back at the original Predator might trigger an emotional response from fans. Going back to the basics and the beautiful simplicity that made the original Predator grab the viewer and not let go until the credits rolled, Prey manages to outdo its predecessor by instilling the franchise with its best cinematography yet but most importantly with the most satisfying character journey of the entire series.
Check out our review here.