The predator is currently tracking down its victims in Shane Black’s sequel, The Predator. I thought it was the right time to reflect on its past hunts. Fortunately, the series has not had to deal with the complicated timelines of other major franchises. (We’re looking at X-Men, please). However, considering that the series spans over 30 years, and includes two iconic crossover movies, it’s worth recalling when it happened.
I know that there are many comics, books, and video games that feature the Predator in action, crossing over with everyone from Superman to Tarzan. But, for simplicity’s sake, we will stick to the movie timeline. Let’s first see how Predator movies look like in order by release date.
Predator movies order by Release date
Major “Dutch”, a Vietnam War veteran, and his military rescue team-Mac Eliot Jorge “Poncho” Ramirez Blain Cooper, Billy Sole, and Rick. Hawkins is assigned to rescue a foreign cabinet minister from insurgents. Dutch has rescinded his objections and Al Dillon, a CIA agent, will accompany the team.
Predator 2 (1990)
Los Angeles is experiencing a heatwave and a turf battle between heavily armed Colombian- and Jamaican drug cartels in 1997. Predator observes a shootout between police officers, Jamaicans, and Colombians. He watches as Lieutenant Michael R. Harrigan enters the fray to save two injured officers and drive the Colombians into their hideout.
AVP: Alien vs Predator (2004)
A team of archaeologists, along with other scientists, becomes involved in a battle between two legends during an archaeological expedition to Bouvetoya Island, Antarctica. The team soon realizes that only one species can win.
AVPR: Alien vs Predator: Requiem (2007)
After the events of the preceding film, a Predator’s vessel leaves Earth with Alien face-huggers and Scar’s body. The scar was the Predator who helped Lex defeat the Xenomorph queen. The scar is slain by a chestburster that possesses traits from both species. It soon matures into an adult Predalien and begins to kill the Predators aboard (in the extended version, this occurs on a scout vessel that has been separated from the mother ship). The ship crashes in the Colorado forest outside Gunnison after a Predator’s weapon penetrates the hull. All but one Predator are killed.
Royce wakes up to discover that he is parachuting into an unknown jungle. He also meets other people who are arriving in the same way: Los Zetas cartel enforcer Cuchillo; Spetsnaz soldier Nikolai; IDF sniper Isabelle; RUF officer Mombasa; San Quentin death row prisoner Stans, Yakuza member Hanzo and general practice physician Edwin. They are all armed and lethal killers. However, none of them know where they are or why they’re there.
The Predator (2018)
A Predator ship crashes on Earth. U.S. Army Ranger sniper Quinn McKenna was attacked by the Predator along with his team while on a hostage retrieval mission. McKenna injures the Predator and sends parts of its armor by mail to prove that there is extraterrestrial life. McKenna is taken into custody and brought to the attention of Will Traeger. Traeger also takes Predator to a laboratory for experimentation, observation, and recruits evolutionary biologist Casey Bracket. Bracket discovers the Predator has human DNA in his genetic makeup. Her primary task is to find out how. Bracket, who is the only person unarmed, escapes from the Predator’s restraints.
Predator Movies in Chronological Order
The Predator was introduced to us in Central America by Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger), and his military rescue team.
After a brutal fight, the Dutch defeat the Predator, who activates a self-destruct switch, which is a nuclear blast. Dutch’s entire team is offed in different ways. Dutch is reunited with Anna, the guerrilla fighter, and they get to the chopper. Hopefully, everything will be well.
The team finds the remains of a helicopter, three bodies with skins on the road, and wreckage. Dutch recognizes them as Green Berets and is suspicious of Dillon’s motives. Dutch confronts Dillon after the team reaches a guerilla base and kills several Soviet intelligence officers and the Soviets. Dillon reveals that their mission was to stop a Soviet-backed invasion. The Green Berets were sent weeks before for the same mission.
The team captures Anna, the guerilla Anna who survived, and learns that more rebels are coming. They return to the extraction point. The hidden presence, using a cloaking device to conceal its presence, follows them while Anna escapes. Hawkins captures her but the creature attacks Cooper and kills him. Eliot, furious, incites others to fire weapons into the jungle, wounding the creature unknowingly.
The creature heals and the team regroups to realize what “wants” them. Dillon believes that more guerrillas are to blame, but Sole insists that the pursuer is not a man. They set traps and make camp, but a wild boar chases them away. Eliot manages to kill the wild boar while Cooper is being taken, hostage. Dutch discovers later that the enemy uses trees to travel. Anna is freed by Dutch, who admits she witnessed the creature’s actions when she was a child.
Predator 2 (1990)
Ten years later, we are moving from Central America to Los Angeles. A different Predator becomes involved in a turf battle between rival drug cartels.
Harrigan, detectives Leona Cantrell and Danny Archuleta are compelled to enter the hideout after the Predator attacks the Colombians. The Colombians are all dead, they discover. Harrigan, who is on the roof, shoots the gang leader. He then catches a glimpse at the camouflaged Predator but dismisses it as an accident of extreme heat and his acrophobia.
His superiors reprimand Harrigan for disobedience at the station. Harrigan is presented to Special Agent Peter Keyes (leader of the task force investigating cartels) and Detective Jerry Lambert (the newest member of Harrigan’s team).
Later that night, Jamaicans entered the penthouse of the Colombian drug lord and killed him. The Predator then executed them. Harrigan’s team observes the body of the drug lord and the Jamaicans’ bodies suspended from the rafters. They note the similarities to the earlier Colombian massacre. Harrigan’s group is kicked out by Keyes when he arrives.
Danny returns later to continue his investigation, but the Predator lurking in the air conditioning vent kills him right after he discovers one of the Predator’s speartip weapons. Harrigan, furious, vows to take down Danny’s murderer.
The speartip does not contain any element from the periodic table, according to an in-depth analysis. Harrigan, who is seeking answers, meets King Willie, a Jamaican drug lord, and voodoo expert. Harrigan is told by King Willie that the killer was supernatural and that he must prepare for battle. Harrigan flees King Willie before the Predator takes his head.
Harrigan tracks down a lead that indicates Danny’s killer was in a slaughterhouse and arranges for Harrigan to meet his team at a warehouse area to investigate. Lambert and Cantrell take the subway to the rendezvous when Harrigan’s Predator suddenly attacks. Lambert and many other armed passengers are shot dead, but Cantrell is saved after the Predator scans her body.
It turns out that she is pregnant. Harrigan arrives on the scene and chases down the Predator, but Keyes’ men intercept her. Keyes reveals that the killer is using infrared vision and has been hunting humans for sport throughout armed conflicts. The most recently in Central America. Keyes and his crew have placed a trap at a local slaughterhouse and used cryogenic weapons and thermally insulated suits to capture the animal for research.
The trap is set when the Predator arrives. The Predator, however, uses its mask to scan the electromagnetic wavelengths of the flashlights to identify them. It easily outmaneuvers the men and kills them. Harrigan assaults the Predator and inflicts severe injuries on its body. The Predator then rallies and destroys his weapon before Harrigan closes in.
Harrigan is saved when Keyes suddenly reappears. Keyes tries to freeze Harrigan but is slowed by its throwing disc. Harrigan is chased by the Predator to a roof, where they clash and leave them hanging from a ledge.
Harrigan cuts the throwing disc to remove the self-destruct mechanism activated by the Predator’s forearm. This renders the device inoperable. The Predator can fall through an apartment window and then treats its injuries before fleeing.
Harrigan follows the spacecraft down an elevator shaft to find a spacecraft hidden in an underground chamber. Harrigan enters the ship and finds a trophy room containing different skulls. Harrigan defeats the Predator in the last duel. He then kills him with the throwing disk.
Harrigan is presented with an antique flintlock gun as a trophy by one of the Predators. Harrigan escapes the ship just as it is taking off and reaches the surface as Keyes’ remaining team members arrive. Harrigan thinks privately that the creatures will return, as Keyes’ subordinate Garber curses them for losing the chance to capture it.
AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
2004: A satellite discovers a mysterious heat bubble beneath Bouvetoya (an island located about one thousand miles northeast of Antarctica). Charles Bishop Weyland, a billionaire industrialist, forms a team to study the heat source and make any relevant discoveries for his multi-national communications company Weyland Industries.
Max Stafford and his mercenaries provide security for the expedition, which includes paleontologists and archaeologists as well as linguists, drillers, and a female guide, Alexa “Lex”, Woods.
The team travels to Bouvetoya when a predator ship enters Earth’s orbit and fires a heat beam towards the source. The Weyland Industries expedition arrives at the heat source above, which is an abandoned whaling station. They find a hole in the ice created by the energy beam and descend to investigate. They find a mysterious pyramid in the bedrock below and start to investigate it. This discovery leads to evidence of an ancient civilization and a chamber that was used as a sacrifice chamber. It appears to contain human skeletons and rib cages that have been ruptured. Unknowingly activating the power source for this structure, the pair discover an alien queen deep inside the pyramid.
Three Young Blood Predators, who land on the surface to kill the people, then make their way down to the pyramid. Facehuggers insinuate several of the Eggs that the Queen has laid into the sacrificial chamber. They quickly turn into adult Aliens from the Chest busters they produce. The rest of the Weyland Industries team, unaware of these events, continue their exploration and eventually discover the Predators’ Plasma casters inside a sarcophagus within the pyramid. They recognize them as being extremely advanced technology and possibly alien technology. However, they take them to study. In doing so, they activate a mechanism that causes the pyramid’s interior to be rearranged every ten minutes.
Scar, who survived the Facehugger ambush earlier, finally finds Lex and reclaims her Plasmacaster. However, the two of them form an uneasy alliance after Lex impresses him by killing an Alien. They manage to escape the pyramid and reach the surface just in time for the explosion that obliterates it. Scar inscribes a glyph that is similar to Lex’s into his cheek as a token of appreciation for Lex’s accomplishments. The Alien Queen attacks them, having escaped from the pyramid. After a fierce battle, Lex and Scar defeat Queen by chaining her up to an oil vat, tipping it into the Antarctic Ocean where it drags Queen into the depths. The scar is eventually unable to fight back from the wounds sustained during the confrontation.
AVPR: Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
The film opens immediately after events in Antarctica aboard the Predator spacecraft, which recovered Scar’s body. Scar’s body lies in its state and a Chest buster emerges from his chest. It is a Predalien that combines Yautjaand Xenomorph traits. This powerful creature soon matures and starts killing Predators all around the ship. A Plasma caster shot accidentally ruptures the vessel’s shell, causing it to crash into the Colorado forest. The Predators having been killed, several Facehuggers and the Predalien escaped into the forest to meet a father-son hunting trip. The Facehuggers quickly subdue the pair, and the Predalien along with the remaining Facehuggers inject embryos into many homeless people living below Gunnison’s sewers.
The Predator home planet receives a distress signal from the ship that has been destroyed. Wolf, a single Predator, responds and travels to Earth to locate the wreckage. Wolf uses his advanced technology to locate the Facehuggers and begins to erase evidence of their presence. He first destroys the ship, then uses a corrosive liquid to dissolve any Aliens or victims he finds.
Dallas Howard, an ex-convict, has just returned from prison to Gunnison. Sheriff Morales meets him and he reunites with Ricky, his younger brother. Ricky is attracted to Jesse, a wealthier classmate. However, he is being harassed and bullied by Dale and his friends. Ricky tries to deliver pizza to Jesse’s home, but Dale throws his keys down the storm drain. Ricky and Dallas hear strange noises while looking for them. Kelly O’Brien, who is also returning home to Gunnison from a tour abroad with the US Army, is found near her. She has been reunited with her husband Tim as well as Molly.
A few moments later, Colonel Stevens gives the Predator weapon that he has recovered to Ms. Yutani. She remarks that the world isn’t yet ready for such technology. Colonel Stevens counters that this technology was not meant for our world.
Predators are the only Predator movie that doesn’t take place on Earth. It features a group composed of soldiers, criminals, and murderers who are forced to work together on a planet that acts as a playground for two Predators.
Isabelle suspects that Royce is a former soldier in black operations who has become a mercenary. In the jungle, they discover a strange monument. Edwin uses a scalpel to collect a neurotoxic chemical from the plant. He also finds empty cages and deadfall traps left by a Green Beret. They reach higher ground and see an alien sky, realizing they are not here on Earth.
A pack of a quadruped, alien beasts attack the party and they survive. Royce concludes that they are on a planet where humans and other species are hunted. Cuchillo is killed and his body is used as bait to lure survivors into a trap which they escape. The group follows the tracks of the beasts to a camp, where they find a captive predator.
The group is attacked by three of their larger “Super Predators”, the Tracker Berserker, Falconer, and Berserker. Mombasa is killed but the rest of their group escapes.
Ronald Noland, an American Air Cavalry soldier who is a single man, appears to the group. He has lived on the planet for “ten years” hiding from and scavenging prey and their victims.
He leads the group to his hideout, explaining that Predators hunt in groups and sharpen their killing skills by abducting dangerous beasts and warriors from other planets. Noland also revealed that there is a blood feud between the smaller and larger Predators. Royce comes up with a plan to release the smaller Predator held captive, in the hope that they will be taken home by the larger Predators’ spaceship.
Noland tries to assassinate the others by trapping them all and using smoke to do so. He plans to kill them all for their equipment. Royce uses an explosive to draw the Predators into the hideout. The Tracker Predator kills Noland and then releases the rest of the group.
Nikolai kills the Tracker Predator using two claymore mines, and then he sacrifices himself. The Berserker intercepts the remaining group. Stans distracts the Berserker by attacking it with his Shiv. The others can flee before being killed. Hanzo remains behind to fight the Falconer Predator using a katana that he found in Noland’s hideout. He then kills it.
Royce, Isabelle, and Edwin continue their pursuit of the Super Predators camp in an attempt to enact Royce’s plan until Edwin is hurt by a trap. Royce abandons them both when Isabelle refuses his surrender. The Berserker captures them and puts them in a pit before continuing to the camp.
In exchange for transport to Earth, Royce releases the Predator. The Predator takes on his armor and hacks into Super Predators’ ship with his wrist computer. This sets a course for Earth. Royce sprints to the ship when the Berserker arrives and the two Predators battle each other.
The Berserker defeats and kills the Predator, before using his wrist computer to destroy the ship. This allegedly killed Royce. Edwin paralyzes Isabelle with the neurotoxic poison. He reveals that he is a serial killer on Earth and plans to stay there because it’s where he feels normal. Royce arrives and stabs Edwin using his scalpel, paralyzing the latter.
Royce booby-traps Edwin using grenades to use him as bait to injure any remaining Predators. Isabelle is crawling for her sniper rifle while Royce fights the Berserker using an axe. Isabelle shoots the Predator, and Royce kills it. They watch parachutes open in the distant sky as Royce and Isabelle relax. Royce and Isabelle are convinced that Predators will soon arrive to hunt new prey so they head into the jungle to “find a route of this fucking world”.
The Predator (2018)
It takes place in 2018 and before Predators. He explained that it’s a reimagining of 2018 Predator, but all other events are kind of acknowledged.”
Quinn McKenna, an army sniper played by Boyd Holbrook, teams up with a group of outcast soldiers and a biologist who has a fascination with aliens to stop Earth’s latest Predator visitor. This time it’s a little bit upgraded. The human race is now ready.
Black explained to EW that this current group picks up from where the Predators’ visits are frequent enough that people have noticed it.
A type of watch the sky program that is alert to something out there and waiting for it to arrive so we can be ready and jump on it, rather than being surprised.
Predator Movies Order by Release Date
- Predator (1987)
- Predator 2 (1990)
- AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
- AVPR: Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
- Predators (2010)
- The Predator (2018)