Sunday, August 28, 2022

Prey for Another Predator Sequel


Hey, hey, Horror Nuts! Welcome to another edition of WTFHM!

Here we all folks! The dream we all dream of! Predator vs Girl in the world series of the AVP universe!

There are some movies that I more or less expect goodness from and most of those movies in the AVP universe have given just me exactly I've come to expect. 

Like the formula for a Predator movie isn't exactly a mindbender. People are either living their lives or exploring some new area, Predator creature hunts said people for sport, somebody steps up to the plate and defeats the titular bad guy.

This week's movie is fundamentally not different...and yet...

Well, let's just get into it, shall we?

Prey starring Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Dane DiLiegro, Stormee Kipp, Michelle Thrush, Julian Black Antelope, Mike Paterson and Bennett Taylor

So, I'm not including a link to any Amazon Prime this time, BUT I will let you know that this movie is exclusive to Hulu right now. No, nobody's paying me for the info, but I'm gonna give it to you anyway.

Okay, so this chapter of the Predator franchise takes place in 1700s America and follows a tribe of Comanche people. Or more specifically, a young Comanche by the name of Naru (Midthunder).

So, because I'm pretty sure you guys can figure out the synopsis here, let's just bullet point the cool parts of this movie because they just need to be elevated.

1) Naru's Role 

So, here's something interesting. Naru has a specific role within her tribe as a healer and a gatherer...but that role doesn't seem to have much to do with her gender. See, she wants to be a hunter and everybody's telling her maybe she should stick to healing and gathering plants instead, but not a single person saying that to her is even implying that it's because she's a woman. 

It's interesting because I think that there are people out there who will watch this movie and still interpret her brother and mother's discouragement of her wants as gendered...but it's not. She's inexperienced as a hunter and while she's got some good ideas, she just not very good at hunting. Which leads me to my next point...

2) Naru's a Shitty Hunter

Can we be real here? Like Naru is smart and athletic and innovative and really, really good at a lot of things. Hunting just isn't one of them. Among her brothers and his friends and every other hunter she's alongside, she just comes short over and over again. 

Her lack of skill in that department, though, I found refreshing. I really liked that bit of complexity in her station within the tribe. Her peers find her to be annoying and, dare I say, weaksauce when it comes to hunting. But it's not entirely misplaced. She's not a good hunter and in a world where your skill level could be a major liability to your party, that's not something you play around with. 

Don't get me wrong. Girlie ain't no punk. Among her many skills, she's a scrapper, too.

But that being said...

3) It's Never Been About Beating The Predator at Hunting

Lemme repeat that a little louder for the people in back. THE PREDATOR MOVIES HAVE NEVER BEEN ABOUT BEATING THE PREDATOR AT HUNTING!

Not a single human who ever stepped to any Predator in a toe to toe, mano a mano type match has ever defeated him that way. That's not what these movies are about. 

Part of the tension of the Predator movies have to do with the fact that the protag is dealing with the ultimate hunter...who also happens to have otherworldly weapons and armour at his disposal. He is as OP as OP gets. 

Even Arnold Frickin' Schwartzenegger spent the whole first movie getting his ass handed to him before he figured out how to hack the system by covering himself in mud to camouflage himself.

Outwitting is the name of the game and that is where Naru excels. She survives because she watches what makes her opponent tick and uses his strengths against him at the most opportune moments.

4) We Love to See Actual Native Americans in Films

When you consider the history behind the lack of representation in general in movies and then you consider how long it took before anyone was casting actual Native American actors in Native American roles...

Like you can talk all the blah-blah you want about things being too "woke" in movies, but when you really think about the fact that "redface" has been going on in movies until very recently, you have to give credit where credit is due with the casting of this film.

Is it, though?  Riddle me this, then:

That was in 2013. 

I can't even say that in his defense he said he was part Native American because I believe he actually said something like, "I think somewhere down the line on my great-great grandmother's side". Being kinda Native American doesn't count.

The bar really is in hell, guys. Just don't be racist in your casting. It's not hard.

5) But wait, they brought context, too!

But just putting actual Native Americans in roles when appropriate was not where this movie stopped. They actually did the work of researching the Comanche tribe during that time period.

From the landscape, the face paint, the clothing, they even put some French colonizers (who spoke ENTIRELY in french, by the way) in the mix. Someone really did their homework to paint the backdrop of a decidedly exciting story.

The work that the filmmakers put into telling this story is admirable and I am here for it.

Oooh, and as a bonus, there are two versions of this movie on Hulu, by the way. The second version is in Comanche. 

This really was a well done movie for a million different reasons. The most important being that all the key elements of Predator movies were all there. This one easily stands up to the rest in the series.

So, yeah, HIGHLY recommend this one. Big Jewels all around

Okay, so next week, we're finally gonna watch Orphan: First Kill. Given that I hated the first one, I don't know why I'm subjecting myself to this one. Who knows? Maybe they'll surprise me this time.

See you next week!



Sunday, August 14, 2022

Bog Ladies


Hey, hey, Horror Nuts! Welcome to another edition of WTFHM!

So, I'm just gonna stay my black ass out of Europe. 

Like, maybe I'm watching too many "evil pagan ritual" type movies lately, but...I'm really kind of feeling like the backwoods and bogs and moors are just not my kind of vibe.

Which, of course, leads us to this week's movie!

Moloch starring Sallie Harmsen, Anneke Blok, Markoesa Hamer, Alexandre Willaume, Fred Goessens, and Noor van der Velden. 

So, our story starts with Betriek(Harmsen), a single mom with a wacky mother and father. Her mother has seizures and probably shouldn't drive and her dad...well, her dad is fine for the first quarter of the movie really.

So, everything's everything until one night, they find some dude standing in their backyard.

The next day, they talk to the local scientists studying bog bodies in the bog nearby and tell them, "Hey, tell your guys to stay out of people's yards." The lead scientist, Jonas (Willaume), assures them that he'll keep his people in line.

This leads Betriek's dad (Goessens) to start building traps and cameras around the property, you know, like a paranoid crazy person.

Eventually, the family is attacked by one of Jonas' scientists. Grammy is almost murdered, but her husband beats him over the head and puts him in a coma.

So, from there a bunch of stuff happens including a weirdly adult school play about the legend.

But the long and short of it is just this. Through the course of the story, we learn that there is a local legend about a witch who takes revenge on a rich woman by taking over her body before she's burned at the stake. And, as it happens, Betriek's family is connected to that witch.

Like, the ending is really messed up. It all ends up with Betriek's mom being in on the whole thing...kind of because she is the titular demon.

Kinda.  Like in a Skeleton Key kind of way, you know?

Like, I could go all film buff with this movie and go into the cinematography and special effects and stuff but...

I gotta be real with you guys. This was one of the longest hour and a half movies I've ever sat through.

I won't go so far as to say it's a bad movie because it wasn't. It just takes the scenic route to get to the point.

So, kind of a short review, but I'm not gonna raspberry this one because fundamentally, I just can't say my experience entirely sucked. There were some good moments in this one, admittedly.

So, pink jewel. 

If they'd shaved about an hour off this movie, it would have made a banging short.

Next Week's movie! Prey!  I'm excited about this one! 

See you next week!