RJ Bayley Reviews: Untitled Predator Fan Film

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I’m not entrenched in the Predator fandom, so I don’t know how popular the idea of transplanting the aliens into different periods is. The most visible precedent is the game Predator: Concrete Jungle, set in the 1930s and then following an alternate history. Director Kenji Doughty takes a similar approach in his oddly Untitled Predator Fan Film. I say oddly, as something this professional really does a deserve a name.

It’s set on the Solomon Islands in 1944 and sees a group of allied soldiers happen upon gruesome hangings during their trudge through the jungle. Initially finding and accusing a Japanese soldier of the atrocity, it soon becomes clear that the perpetrator comes from further afield than the land of the rising sun.

The film is all about the visuals and tension. It’s beautifully shot, very sharp and clear. This really helps the Predator’s invisibility phasing look effective and scenes involving this look well polished. The good looks also extend to the costumes, which all appear convincing, both allied, Japanese and alien.

The Predator, when displayed, is a little too static to be scary. When he appears he pulls some generic monster poses before going offscreen again. He doesn’t tend to move around much, or even be particularly animated, and it does remind the viewer that this is a man in a very nice costume, and not an alien hunter.

The action is generally impressive stuff however, with the meagre $500 made to lot a great deal more, with a great stunt as a soldier leaps off a cliff into pool. It’s well edited, pacy, and tense. The only problem is we’re all too familiar with soldiers fighting a Predator in the jungle: been there, seen that.

★★

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