Predator: Dark Ages

Predator fan short making the rounds. It’s set during the Crusades, involving Templar knights hunting/being hunted by a ‘demon’. Has shades of the Grendel sections of Beowulf, which was a partial inspiration for John McTiernan’s original film.

James Bushe approaches the material like vandalism, compressing and restaging Predator‘s broad strokes. The Templars have, roughly, the same dynamic as Schwarzenegger’s commandos. Their mission even has dubious origins and an outsider holds some insight to the monster. The big difference is how this Predator’s tactics differ from those in the films: archers and one swordsman are taken by surprise, but the remaining kills and fights are straightforward duels. Dark Ages Predator is acutely aware how far behind technologically these humans are, and is being sporting. The Templars respond with bravado, assured their faith and righteousness will protect them. Naturally, they get slaughtered.

There’s a kernel of an idea, here. Unfortunately, there’s a lack of desperation in the action itself. The constantly moving, humid, mud-stained terror of McTiernan replaced with wide, static shots and spotless costumes. The knights never so much as break a sweat, even when death comes straight at them.

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