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05th Aug 2022

WATCH: Prey director reveals big God Of War influence

Rory Cashin

The director of the prequel to Predator talks about the major influences on his new sci-fi action horror

Director Dan Trachtenberg got everyone’s attention with his 2011 short film Portal: No Escape, which was based on the hit video game series of the same name and racked up over 25 million views.

Hollywood quickly came calling, giving him the reins on 2016 sci-fi horror 10 Cloverfield Lane, and he also directed the pilot episode of comic-book-hit The Boys.

In between, he has always been intrinsically linked with bridging the gaps between video games and movies, from his episode of Black Mirror – titled “Playtest”, it involved a man trapped within a too-real augmented reality game – to his name temporarily being in the ring to direct the Uncharted adaptation.

Now he’s got Predator prequel Prey on Disney+ today (August 5), and JOE caught up with him – as well as the movie’s star Amber Midthunder and producer Jhane Myers – to discuss the film’s sci-fi horror action.

You can check out that interview in full right here:

During the chat, we pointed out that one of the weapons used is an axe attached to a length of rope, which allows its user to throw the weapon and have it return to them, which is basically the primary weapon in the 2018 God Of War game. Was that an influence on the movie?

Trachtenberg told us the following:

“[The axe] and the shield, so definitely God Of War, a huge inspiration. The films of Terence Malick are a huge inspiration, visually. The Never Ending Story is a huge inspiration for us, in specific moments. And, frankly, The Searchers was a massive movie that we wanted to interact with, because The Searchers is a deeply influential movie, and it has a really horrible portrayal of Comanche people in it.

“So in our film, there is a shot where Naru (played by Amber Midthunder) steps out of the opening of her tepee as the camera pushes behind her, and it is a direct visual reference to the opening and closing shot of The Searchers, through the silhouetted doorway, which is a shot that has been mimicked in so many films since then. But we really wanted to reclaim that shot for a movie led by the Comanche.”

When speaking of a specific scene in the movie, Trachtenberg also reveals another interesting inspiration:

“The aesthetic for the burnt glade sequence was heavily borrowed from Justin Kurtzel’s Macbeth. It is gorgeous cinematography and it is covered in smoke and ash and yet what we’re seeing is kind of horrific. I love that aesthetic combination.”

Prey is available to watch on Disney+ now.

Clip via Disney UK & Ireland

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