the predator series is one of the most beloved sci-fi movie franchises of all time, with an equally terrifying monster that has become a pop culture icon over the years. Humans have been the dominant species on earth for a long time, so when a 7-foot tall extra-terrestrial menace hit the theaters, hunting down the best of Hollywood’s men of action, it was bound to attract a lot of attention. Ever since the 1987 hit film predatorthe Predator franchise has seen several crossovers, and ups and downs along the way, but has remained a quintessential pick in every sci-fi fan’s movie collection.
The success of arnold schwarzenegger-LED predator launched a series of films, novels, comic books, video games, and toys that are still popular to this day. It spawned three direct sequels and two crossover films with the rival Alien franchise. While none of the later additions enjoyed the same level of success as the 1984 blockbuster, each of them explored further into the lore of the Yautjas, turning the species from a sentient and advanced space horror to an intelligent frenemy that sometimes works alongside humans, and at times show those they deem worthy some level of respect.
the predator franchise is set to make a return in 2022, by taking a step back into the past. Set in the world of the Comanche Nation 300 years ago, Prey tells the story of a young warrior named Naru. When a “highly evolved” alien predator threatens to wipe out her people, Naru must rely on her skills from her and whatever weapons she can find to defeat the Predator and its advanced arsenal from her. The film’s producers John Davis and John Fox talked to Collider about their project last July. At the time, Davis said that:
“Item [Prey] goes back to what made the original Predator movie work. It’s the ingenuity of a human being who won’t give up, who’s able to observe and interpret, basically being able to beat a stronger, more powerful, well-armed force.”
The prequel Prey is scheduled to be released on Hulu in the US and on Disney+ internationally on August 5, 2022. Therefore, it seems like a good time to refresh our knowledge of the Yautjan lore and revisit the older films in a sequence that’ll make the most sense. Here at Collider, we’ve lined up the predator movies in a systematic order, so you can relish a hassle-free experience while enjoying the hunt at your own convenience!
Predator Movies in Order of Release Dates
- predator – June 12, 1987
- predator 2 – November 21, 1990
- Alien vs. predator – August 13, 2004
- Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem – December 25, 2007
- predators -July 9, 2010
- predator – September 14, 2018
- Prey – August 5, 2022
Predator Movies in Chronological Order
The prequel film Prey is yet to be released, however, the rest of the films are lined up in a neat order that also matches their release date. While we do take Prey into account in this list, your viewing experience will not be altered even if you watch it at the end of the previous six movies. So it is up to you whether you want to wait until August 5 for the prequel to arrive and then begin your binge-watch journey, or save the prequel for the last. Here’s how to watch the predator movies in chronological order:
The upcoming prequel Prey was announced back in 2020, and the pandemic kept pushing the dates, but we now have an official window of release in the latest trailer, which was revealed earlier in June. Set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago, Prey tells the story of a young woman named Naru, a fierce and highly skilled warrior who has been raised in the shadow of some of the most legendary hunters who once roamed the Great Plains. When an unknown predator threatens her tribe from her, she sets out on a mission to protect her people from her. The creature she stalks and ultimately confronts turns out to be a highly evolved alien hunter with a technically advanced arsenal that kills for fun, resulting in a vicious and terrifying showdown between the two. Prey is scheduled to be released on Hulu in the US and on Disney+ internationally on August 5.
The movie that kicked off the predator franchise and has become a cult classic over time, predator is everything a sci-fi/action/horror fan could ever ask for. Often considered one of the best action films of the 80s, the story follows Vietnam War vet and commando leader Dutch (Schwarzenegger) and his team through the rainforests of Central America on a rescue mission, that turns out to be a cover-up for something else. However, there are far worse things to worry about than a cover-up, as a highly advanced extra-terrestrial predator is stalking them, and enjoys the gore-filled game of flaying and ripping them to pieces.
predator 2 (1990)
The success of predator in 1987 led to a sequel, predator 2and saw the departure of Schwarzenegger from the franchise over conflicting schedules due to his commitment to the terminator series. predator 2 takes the fight to the concrete jungles of Los Angeles and expands upon the lore and personality of the Predator (Yautja). Lieutenant Michael Harrigan (Danny Glover) is doing his best to stop rising cartel activity in the city, but he finds out there’s a new vicious killer on the prowl, and his investigation is hindered by the CIA, making the case more suspicious. Harrigan and his small team of trustworthy officers take matters into their own hands, but things are about to get much worse, and it is up to Harrigan to put a stop to this otherworldly menace.
Alien vs. Predator (2004)
Adapted partially from the comic book series of the same name, Alien vs Predator was the first major on-screen clash of the extra-terrestrial titans from the two famous franchises. A group of scientists investigates a strange heat bloom emanating from a hidden pyramid in Antarctica, which turns out to be a ritualistic chamber that has been used by the Yautjans from ancient times to breed Xenomorphs, using humans as fodder, to be used as a test for young Yautjans to earn the title of a warrior and hunter. The scientists accidentally set off the dormant settlement, which attracts the attention of a spaceship of Yautjans, and only a single human and one Predator is left standing as the Aliens prove to be too much even for the extraterrestrial hunters. The two survivors form an unlikely alliance and try to escape the vicious death trap that surrounds them.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
Set right after the events of Aliens vs Predator, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem features an amalgamation of everyone’s favorite space monsters, dubbed the Predalien. A Xenomorph that hid inside the body of their fallen friend, escapes and wipes out all the Yautjans in the spaceship from the previous film. One of the last survivors manages to send a distress signal into the space on his way to the earth, before being killed by the Predalien. An experienced Yautjan named Wolf tracks down the beacon in the woods close to a small town in Colorado, and finds out it is infested by a swarm of Xenomorphs. The struggle that follows doesn’t end well for the people of the town, as they are stuck in a fight they do not want to be a part of, and a government that seems to be too keen on “dealing with the situation.”
Often considered to be one of the better-made sequels in the predator movie series, predators reminds you of the 1987 movie in more ways than one. A group of the deadliest mercenaries, hand-picked by the Yautjans themselves, is kidnapped and transported to the forests of an unknown planet. The individuals don’t exactly trust each other, and while they sort out their issues, their numbers are dwindling by the minute as the Yautjans use them for game hunting. However, the Yautjans have a brewing civil war going on, with two tribes fighting over control. The gore, the horror, well-directed action scenes in dense flora, and a subtle nod to Dutch from the first movie make fans label the film as a true sequel to predator in spirit.
The Predators (2018)
predator follows the story of the civil war mentioned in the previous film and expands upon the lore of the Yautjan civilization. A Yautjan spaceship crash-lands on Earth and is taken to a secret government facility to study along with its otherworldly pilot. The Predator wakes up during its investigation, killing everyone in the room except for one unarmed researcher, and escapes. However, it turns out it was an escapee and gets hunted down by a Super Predator who is now in pursuit of the tech that was taken from the captured predator. It is now up to a group of PTSD-afflicted soldiers, a scientist, and a child with autism to survive and find a way to fend off the enormous Yautjan before it turns them into mincemeat.