Humans have long held the belief that they are at the top of the food chain on Earth. However, when it comes to galactic gladiator competitions, we quickly realize that we are mere contenders. The Predator film franchise, which debuted in 1987, expanded its reach to include comics and video games, introducing us to the formidable “Yautja” hunters from outer space. These towering beings seek trophies, traveling across different worlds for deadly competitions. They have even been known to abduct various species from across the cosmos, bringing them back to their own planet for hunts.
For centuries, the Predators have tested our skills, pitting their cunning tricks, intricate traps, and advanced technology against our own. As if the Xenomorphs weren’t enough of a cinematic menace for humanity, the idea of a shared universe became a reality in the 2000s with two Alien vs. Predator films. These movies showcased the notion that even when facing a common enemy, the Predators, “Whoever wins, we lose” – a tagline that resonated with profound truth.
The initial Predator films released in 1987 and 1990 established a foundation for further exploration in other forms of media. Then, in 2004, Alien vs. Predator brought the crossover concept to life. Throughout the following decade, acclaimed directors such as Robert Rodriguez, Shane Black, and Dan Trachtenberg each put their unique spins on the franchise. Trachtenberg’s Predator prequel, titled Prey, which aired on Hulu, received the most positive and hopeful reviews for a Predator movie in a long time.
If you’re interested in watching the Predator films in chronological order, we have you covered. Below, you’ll find the correct timeline for viewing them and where to locate each installment:
1. Prey (2022)
The Predator franchise consists of a total of seven movies, encompassing the mainline series, crossovers with the Alien franchise, and a prequel. Following the success of the 2022 film Prey, discussions are underway for more Predator movies, although no official announcements have been made yet.
To embark on a chronological viewing experience of the Predator films, one should start with Prey, the prequel set in 1719. This installment follows a young Comanche woman named Naru (played by Amber Midthunder), who unexpectedly becomes the target of a more primitive Predator while accompanying her brother on a hunt. Determined to prove herself, Naru takes on the challenge of confronting the alien stalker, providing a fresh and thrilling take on the Predator saga.
2. Predator (1987)
The original Predator film from 1987 marks the beginning of the franchise. Directed by John McTiernan (known for Die Hard) and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, the movie showcases a near-unstoppable military rescue team encountering a fearsome, invisible alien force in the jungles of South America. As the story unfolds, Schwarzenegger’s character, Dutch, must devise a strategy to outsmart and defeat this technologically advanced monster.
3. Predator 2 (1990)
In 1990, Predator 2 continues the series with a change in cast and setting. The film takes place in a near-future Los Angeles plagued by both a Cartel war and the presence of a formidable Predator. Danny Glover, Bill Paxton, Ruben Blades, and María Conchita Alonso portray cops caught up in the chaos as they face off against the alien hunter prowling the cityscape.
4. AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
The franchise then expands with the crossover film AVP: Alien vs. Predator, released in 2004. Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson (known for Resident Evil and Event Horizon), this movie merges the Predator and Alien sagas. Set in present-day America, AVP reveals a long-standing history between the Predators and Xenomorphs, as Predators have been conducting hunts on Earth for centuries, utilizing humans as breeding hosts for the Xenomorphs. The film stars Sanaa Lathan, Lance Henriksen, Raoul Bova, and Ewen Bremner.
5. Aliens vs Predator: Requiem (2007)
A direct sequel to AVP, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, follows the events of its predecessor. This 2007 film takes place in the same timeline and introduces the menacing “Predalien,” an Alien-Predator hybrid. The story unfolds as the Predalien attacks a small town in Colorado, prompting a Predator “cleaner” to be dispatched to eliminate this new monstrous threat.
6. Predators (2010)
In 2010, Predators offers a change of scenery by transporting viewers to a distant planet—a Yautja game reserve. Directed by Robert Rodriguez, the film brings together a diverse cast including Adrien Brody, Walton Goggins, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace, and Alice Braga. Predators explores how “established killers,” specifically humans, are abducted and used for sport between two warring Yautja tribes.
7. The Predator (2018)
The most recent installment, The Predator, arrived in 2018. Directed by Shane Black (known for Iron Man 3 and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), the film returns to the original formula of the franchise. It features a group of unstable soldiers portrayed by Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane, and Alfie Allen, who confront a pair of rampaging Predators and foil their Yautja schemes involving DNA manipulation. The movie ends with a hint of potential sequels, while alternate or unused endings tease the possibility of time-traveling versions of Alien’s Ellen Ripley and Rebecca “Newt” Jorden in a crossover twist.
While these are the existing Predator movies, keep in mind that discussions are ongoing for future additions to the franchise, building upon the success of Prey.
How to Watch the Predator Movies by Release Date
If you’re looking to watch all the movies in theatrical release order, the correct list is below:
- Predator (1987)
- Predator 2 (1990)
- AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
- Aliens vs Predator: Requiem (2007)
- Predators (2010)
- The Predator (2018)
- Prey (2022)