Predator is a perfect movie. Anybody who says otherwise, well that’s their opinion. (But they’re wrong.) A story of baby-oiled muscle vs intergalactic lasers that could have only come from the 80s, it’s insanely fun as it is well-made. But there’s an odd feeling that even Predator fans aren’t getting as hyped as they should be for the return of the alien hunter this year. Maybe it’s because of the sub-par sequels and spin-offs that came after wards (although I do dig Predator 2) or the fact that new story takes place in the suburbs and could make the franchise “soft.” There isn’t even a trailer yet, but that doesn’t mean they’re aren’t reasons to get excited for it now.
3) The Cast
They were not able to secure Schwarzenegger coming back, there isn’t even any huge names or necessarily box office draws when comes to the actors. But what makes the movie all the more intriguing. The lead Boyd Holbrock made a hell of an impression in Logan and he may be familiar to fan’s of Netflix’s Narcos, but he’s not quite a household name yet. I’m most curious to Keegan-Michael Key of Key and Peele fame take his hand on a more serious movie. With Jordon Peele knocking it out of the park with Get Out, seeing the more dramatic side of Key will be something to be excited about. After giving one of the best kid performances in years in Room, Jacob Trembley will no doubt fit nicely into Shane Black’s smart kid role. Trevant Rhodes’ coming of his first major role since Moonlight. Jake Busey’s character offers the only connection to the original series we know of so far as he stated he’s playing the son of Gary’s Busey’s character from Predator 2. But more than any of the actors, I can not wait to see Thomas Jane face off against the Predator. A badass actor who also played the Punisher, it just feels right he’s finally in a Predator movie.
2) Shane Black
Not only is Shane Black a talented director, he had a small acting part in the original Predator and did some uncredited writing on the script. He’s proved his balance of violence and comedy with the Lethal Weapon series, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and The Nice Guys. His first dip into big summer blockbuster was Iron Man 3, while was divisive among fans, was still genuinely a Shane Black movie within the Marvel playhouse. Along with sharp dialogue, his characters have demons from the past coming back to haunt them that are compelling even with the outrageous events going on. Grounding the action while still delivering the goods is kind of Black’s specialty and he’s exactly the shot in the arm the series needs.
1) Fred Dekker
Who? Only one of the most underrated horror writer/directors from the 80s. The Monster Squad (which Shane Black co-wrote wrote along with Dekker) and Night of the Creeps represent everything that is great about 80s genre cinema. Night of the Creeps is tribute to Ed Wood and 50s sci-fi movies complete with zombies, aliens, and a hard-boiled detective character, while The Monster Squad is basically The Goonies with the classic Universal Monsters (Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, etc.) He has genuine love of the horror genre and that love shines brightly in both his movies. Full of references to classic horror, even his characters have a knowledge of horror cinema. In a way, they feel like meta take on the genre before Scream. I looked at him as the Quentin Tarantino of the horror genre, a film fan enthusiastically making films while honoring his idols. While neither of those were box office hits, his career unfortunately dipped way down with Robocop 3. But I believe The Predator is going to be his come back and hopefully sparks even more interest with his previous cult classics. I have no doubt the combo of Dekker and Black is going to give use the most fun and crowd-pleaseing Predator movie since the original.