The Predator is one of the most recognizable movie monsters, having taken on everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to the titular beast from the Alien movies. While the franchise has had plenty of ups, it has also seen its fair share of downs. Before the release of the new Predator movie Prey, here is a ranking of each of the Predator movies so far.
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Predator Movies Ranked
7. Alien vs Predator: Requiem (2007)
The 2007 follow-up to the first crossover film, Alien vs Predator: Requiem is a mess. The story is actually fairly straightforward: the Predator ship from the first film crashes in a small Colorado town, unleashing the poorly named Predalien (a hybrid Alien and Predator) on the unsuspecting population.
The simple setup is failed by bad acting and even worse directing. The film is so poorly lit that many scenes are almost pitch black. While this film upped the gore from the previous crossover film, it comes across as gross and needlessly edgy. This film was directed by the Brothers Strause (that’s how they credit themselves), who had previously music videos for Linkin Park, Staind and other angsty bands. Unfortunately, teenage angst didn’t translate into intergalactic horror.
6. The Predator (2018)
After acting and working as a script doctor on the first film, Shane Black returned to the franchise in 2018 with The Predator. Black has an impressive filmography, having directed The Nice Guys, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3 and having written Lethal Weapon, but his skills behind the camera couldn’t save this movie.
The plot is convoluted. A soldier comes across a crashed Predator ship and steals some of the tech. He then mails the alien gear back to his home, where it’s intercepted by his autistic son. A group of soldiers suffering from various stress-related issues than come together to save the child, who has been targeted by Predators.
If this plot sounds confusing, that’s because it is. The film was plagued with reshoots, and much of the film’s original plot was excised.
Further complicating matters was that Black cast a sex offender friend of his in a minor role in the film. Star Olivia Munn, who shared a scene with this actor, found out shortly before the film’s release and spoke out against the casting, which prompted the studio to make even more cuts at the last minute. Black later apologized to Munn.
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5. Alien vs. Predator (2004)
The ending of Predator 2 revealed a xenomorph skull on the Predator’s trophy wall, teasing the eventual cinematic clash between the franchises. It would be another 14 years before Alien vs. Predator was finally released in 2004.
The film had a troubled history, with multiple scripts and directors coming on board before dropping off. Finally, Paul W.S. Anderson, famous for directing several of the Resident Evil movies, was able to put the film into production.
While fans were skeptical, especially considering its PG-13 rating (the only film in either series to not be rated R), the end result is … alright. The movie definitely delivers on the title, featuring a story set in Antarctica involving hidden, underground pyramids and trapped human scientists. This movie is dumb fun, but unlike its sequel, it’s properly lit, so audiences could actually see the Aliens and Predators fighting.
4. Predator 2 (1990)
This 1990 movie is set in the distant future of 1997, where Los Angeles is suffering from a severe heat wave. Unfortunately, Predators like heat, prompting one of the hunters to descend upon the city and start hunting various crime and drug lords. The film has a fantastic cast, including Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Maria Conchita Alonso and Bill Paxton, and definitely has a unique visual style. It’s also responsible for introducing much of the Predator lore and is a lot of fun.
The reason why Predator 2 is not higher on this list is that it’s also awkward, and Glover gives a performance that can generously be described as “big.”
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While the movie initially saw negative reviews, it has gained a cult following over the years, and many of those fans will probably yell at me on Twitter for not placing it higher.
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3. Predators (2010)
Stealing a trick from the Alien franchise, Predators delivered on its titular promise of including multiple Predators. Released in 2010, this movie saw the Predators return to their own solo series and back to hunting humans. This time, they’ve collected a group of Earth’s deadliest warriors and forced them to an alien planet that’s essentially a giant hunting preserve.
While Adrien Brody is an odd choice for the tough guy lead (he spends the movie doing an impression of Christian Bale’s Batman voice), the movie is a solid popcorn flick. There are a lot of fun set pieces, a fun cast of characters and a few twists and turns.
2. Prey (2022)
Prey is a return to form for the Predator franchise with a lot of unique twists and turns, taking place about 300 years before the first movie and establishing that the Predators have tortured and terrorized the tribe (and world) for centuries.
The film was shot in both English and Comanche to make it both accessible and genuine, with producer Jhane Myers explaining to SlashFilm, “That’s really important to me being Comanche and working with our Comanche language department, also with working with Comanche language speakers. But just the fact that people will have a choice, the world will have a choice to listen to the whole film in Comanche is amazing.”
Director Dan Trachtenberg explained that initially, the plan was to have the film begin with the actors speaking Comanche, then transition into English, similar to how the Russian characters did in the classic The Hunt for Red October, but said it simply didn’t work for Prey.
“Both languages are spoken, but when you hear English, it’s as if it’s Comanche,” he said. “But what Jhane is speaking to is on Hulu, there will be a Comanche dub of the movie, so you can watch the entire movie in Comanche with the original actors returning to perform their roles.”
It’s the first film ever to be available entirely in Comanche, and Hulu viewers will get to choose which version they want to watch and hear.
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1. Predator (1987)
Directed by John McTiernan, this 1987 film kicked off the franchise. It’s clearly the best of the series and features a straightforward story: Arnold Schwarzenegger leads a team of special ops commandos into a Central American jungle on a rescue mission. Instead, they find themselves being stalked by an alien hunter.
The first act of Predator feels like a generic action movie before turning into a tense and suspenseful slasher flick. The Predator is terrifying, especially considering it’s mostly shown as just a pair of glowing eyes in the jungle. The movie also features some classic one-liners from Schwarzenegger, including the iconic “Get to the choppa!”
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