With a face that looks like it needs an adults-only rating every time it takes its mask off, The Predator is very much a film that is not meant for children. After all, here is a tale of an intergalactic hunter that enjoys making sport of very well-armed humans and then taking its time to rip their actual spnes from their body. Pretty much the template then for Mortal Kombat, and you know just how bloody that game was.
The Predator franchise once toyed with the idea of lowering its carnage in order to secure an age rating that was more suitable for the minds of younger audiences. Aliens Vs Predator was the result, and while the film is a guilty pleasure of mine, the lack of any true gore robbed the movie of the necessary bite that it needed to pull off the titanic meeting between two of history’s greatest movie icons.
Aliens Vs. Predator Requiem may have given that bloodlust back to the series, but it’s kind of hard to tell because the whole damn film is dimmer than the inside of Donald Trump’s head. The Predator then, is a chance to really up the stakes and spill some blood. It’s not violence for the sake of violence, but rather a key factor in setting the mood of the film. “A Predator movie has to in some way include a version of framing it as a hunt,” director Shane Black said to SFX via Games Radar.
Also, the tension of the unseen is very important. And then the brutality, which started to get lost as the movies went PG. So, we said, ‘Okay, let’s make sure we get this at least rated R,’ so that when the Predator strikes, the results have to be calamitous, and often bloody.
One way that Black aims to make his Predator a more deadly throwback to the original 1987 film? By keeping the deadly warrior hidden, ready to strike when the moment is right:
He’s a hunter. He appears, he strikes, he retreats. Just keep him as deadly, as fast, agile and almost cheetah-like as possible. The more you see him walking around doing stuff or making himself breakfast, the less it’s going to be effective.
That’s the hunting spirit right there. Part of what made the original film so effective, was that you knew the Predator was there, but you had no idea when you’d see him decloak and start skinning hapless goons alive. That constant threat, the lurking sensation of death always being around the corner is what made the creature so damn effective in the first place.
Which I can’t wait to not see when it returns to cinemas in September.
Last Updated: August 17, 2018