La presa’, as full of intrigue as it is of surprises

One thing that we should extract from a film as effective against the odds as ‘Predator: Prey’ is that its director, Dan Trachtenberg, should not be just another anonymous person and begin to be considered as reference filmmaker in the recent fantastic. Whether he is more or less an author, he has shown exquisiteness in his narration and in the way of creating terror that he knows how to connect with primal instincts.

His installment of the Predator saga offers quite a few joys through simplicity and intelligent use of visual and auditory resources. Even so, this is only his second film, and moreover six years after the previous one. And beware, we are not talking about a minor debut. His previous film was another fabulous genre film exercise, this time from a more psychological level but also with some survival, and can be seen on HBO Max as well as on Prime Video and Movistar +. This is ’10 Cloverfield Street’.

who is the monster here

The film begins with the character of Mary Elizabeth Winstead having a car accident, for reasons that will later be revealed. But that accident and the preceding events will be the least of the waking up in a mysterious room that looks like a cell. Not only that, but said room is located underground as part of a bunker set up by John Goodman’s character.

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The two are not alone. In the bunker there is also a third part, played by John Gallagher Jr., who has also been brought in by Goodman. This strange man claims that he has saved their lives from doom, that the outside is uninhabitable due to a chemical attack, and that if they try to escape they will end up dead. The ignorance about whether he is telling the truth or not will stain coexistence underground with anxiety and terror.

The bunker mentality is a real phenomenon, which leads to the alignment of the individual to unsuspected limits. ’10 Cloverfield Street’ captures it in all its horror, although without giving up playing with the tone. From suspense to coexistence comedy, through psychological horror through very human and intense dramas. All this with a scarier unknown if you don’t know in which cinematic universe it takes place.

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However, the true success of the film lies in the extremely intelligent work that Trachtenberg and his team of screenwriters do -among whom Damien Chazelle appears, mind you- to create that terror from minimal elements but well used. The bizarre atmosphere and fabulous character development through actions rather than verbal explanations help give it a very authentic emotional anchor.

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That’s why it’s not crazy to talk about ’10 Cloverfield Street’ as one of the biggest horror surprises of the last decade. Surprise because of how well elaborated it is, because of how unexpected it was and because of connections that were not discovered until shortly before its premiere. But the important thing is that both this and ‘Predator: Prey’ are great arguments for the studios to let Trachtenberg make more movies.

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