Predator suits must be on a severe discount, or at least far easier to assemble than they appear. The alien hunter of men has shown up in many fan films over the years, battling aliens, Batman, Wolverine, and more. The monster has a simple premise that lends itself to various permutations and changes in setting that ultimately come down to brute force and cunning (and sometimes Gary Busey mugging like hell). With this inundation of Predator fan films, it must take something special to elevate one above the others. Enter Predator: Dark Ages.
A Kickstarter-funded fan film, Predator: Dark Ages finds the extraterrestrial manhunter on earth during the Crusades. A knight templar and his band are dispatched to track and kill the beast that has been terrorizing the countryside. This could have easily devolved into LARPers vs. Cosplayers and been a complete embarrassment, but the technical aspects of the film keep it respectable and makes for an entertaining watch, even at 27 minutes long.
Writer/director James Bushe has a tight script and small group of actors with which to work, but it’s enough that the Predator is able to show off its many weapons and manners for killing folks. Director Of Photography Simon Rowling really shows off some stunning shots of the countryside and never devolves into the recently hip vein of shaky cam or any other garish moves. Lastly, Juan Iglesias turns in a score that echoes Alan Silvestri’s work on the original Predator film, but is a lush and tense original piece that keeps propelling the story further and accentuates all of the action. It’s a surprisingly well done and incredibly competent fan film, and hopefully it can lead to the filmmakers being able to work on original material of their own, as they’ve proven capable of playing in another’s sandbox.