They come during the hottest seasons; hunting their prey to prove their worth with a variety of weapons. An alien race of hunters known as the Yautja who search for the ultimate prey: humans and Xenomorphs. After their debut in 1987 with Predator, the Yautja hunters have become an icon of cinema.
This has led to a mega-franchise spanning across four main movies and two spin-offs. Add video games and comic books, the Predator franchise is massive. With each new movie, they added new hunters to the roster, sometimes up to three in one movie. Which of these Yautja hunters are apex predators and which are unworthy of being blooded?
13 “Ultimate” Hunter – The Predator
Every Predator movie had a new gimmick, something to make their star Yautja stand out. Unfortunately, the gimmick for the Hunter in Shane Black’s The Predator backfired. The Ultimate Predator was unimpressive in every way.
The reasoning for the upgrades retconned the Yautja’s entire motivation that fans loved. The CGI for the Ultimate Hunter is really bad in some scenes and even the “upgrades” are lackluster. Even the kills weren’t that good: just a bunch of CGI splatter-fests.
12 Chopper – Alien vs. Predator
Remember this Yautja? No? Well, there’s a reason for that. Chopper existed just to be killed by the Xenomorph threat in Alien vs. Predator. He manages to kick one human then immediately gets impaled and murdered by a Xenomorph.
So with only a minute of screentime and no impressive feats, Chopper just felt like a waste. Even the bio-helmet he wears looks uninspired.
11 Fugitive Hunter – The Predator
If there was anything somewhat good to come out of The Predator, it was the Fugitive. This Yautja looked great, sounded great, and was performed brilliantly by a parkour artist. Nearly every time the Fugitive was on screen, it was the best part of the movie.
Unfortunately, the Fugitive is ruined by plot-holes and is killed off way too early by the aforementioned Ultimate Predator. If a new Predator movie is ever made, it needs to learn from the mistakes of The Predator.
10 Tracker – Predators
Despite a unique mask and a genuinely awesome death, the Tracker didn’t do much in Predators. In a way, that is the point of this Super Predator: it commands the dog-like beasts that attack the party of the hunted characters.
However, the actual Super Predator himself does nothing memorable. Instead, his pets provide a more memorable scene. Predators as a whole would have been even better if the Super Predators were given more showcases.
9 Falconer – Predators
The Falconer from Predators suffers from minimal screentime as well. Unlike his Tracker brother, the Falconer at least features a memorable fight with Yakuza alongside his bird-like drone gimmick. Add in a decent bio-helmet, Falconer definitely stood out more.
The fight with Yakuza was great and displayed more honor than the other two Super Predators.
8 Crucified Hunter – Predators
The Crucified is an example of a Yautja who makes an impact in a short time. The obvious thing to note about him is that he’s designed to look straight out of the first Predator movie. This provides quite a contrast from the grotesque Super Predator.
The Crucified is another Yautja that displays honor: he helped Royce attempt to escape the Preserve in return for freedom. Then the Crucified does battle with the Berserker and a great fight as well that shows the blood feud between the two races.
7 Greyback Elder – Predator 2/AVP
Due to the seeming immortality of the Yautja race, it is possible that the Elders that appear in both Predator 2 and Alien VS. Predator are the same. In both, the Elder is an example of telling stories without even telling them.
It’s obvious that the Elder is probably one of the most apex predators in the galaxy. The Elder sticks to the honor code and even has respect for humans; this is shown through his rewards for both Mike Harrigan and Lex for their efforts.
6 Celtic – Alien vs. Predator
Wearing one of the most unique bio-helmets in the entire series, Celtic is an awesome Youngblood. After his brother-in-arms Chopper is killed, Celtic takes on the Xenomorph known as Grid. This is easily the best Alien versus Predator fight in the movie.
Ian Whyte, the actor behind all the Hunters in the film, really nails the physicality of the Yautja. The way they fight, move, and operate is perfectly handled. Whyte especially excels when playing as Celtic. Unfortunately, Celtic is killed off by Grid after the first fight.
5 Scar – Alien vs. Predator
It was a challenge choosing between Scar and Celtic. Scar is the remaining Hunter for the rest of Alien vs. Predator after Celtic’s demise. While Ian Whyte definitely delivers in making Scar into an awesome hunter, Scar is the superior Hunter due to personality.
Despite operating off either silence, growls, or roars, Whyte manages to give Scar a lot of character. Scar displays personality through his different expressions, movements, and mannerisms. Scar manages to have a strong connection to Lex despite their differences; it shows that the Yautja are not just mindless slasher villains.
4 Berserker – Predators
Probably the most villainous of the Yautja. The Berserker is the leader of the three Super Predators: honor is not a priority for this Hunter. All that matters is the hunt and he abducts the most dangerous prey while stringing up members of his own race.
Berserker is pure evil: every kill he makes has the brutality meter to the max. It’s what makes the overpower of the classic Predator so much more impactful. Easily the best Hunter in Predators.
3 City Hunter – Predator 2
Despite being played by the same actor who portrayed the Yautja in the first movie, the City Hunter in Predator 2 is played very differently. The first movie’s Hunter was more straight-forward about his hunt whereas the City Hunter is more devious.
It’s like the City Hunter is enjoying his kills in Los Angeles and is addicted to it. The City Hunter racks up quite the body count with plenty of memorable kills. Yet he still has the honor to spare a pregnant woman: showing that the Yautja are complex in nature.
2 Wolf – Alien vs. Predator: Requiem
By far the best thing about Alien vs. Predator: Requiem is its star Yautja. Named after Harvey Keitel’s character from Pulp Fiction, Wolf is an elite hunter. He comes to Earth to clean up the mess left from the first movie.
From his gadgets, mannerisms, tactics, and kills: Wolf always steals the show. Even fans have wanted to see a prequel comic or game about the character; show why he’s missing a mandible and how he made a Xenomorph tail into a whip. Wolf is close to being the best Predator ever made…but he’s held back by a terrible movie.
1 Jungle Hunter – Predator
No shocker here, the classic Jungle Hunter is the apex predator that took on Arnold Schwarzenegger. Without this particular Yautja Hunter, there would be no franchise. What makes the Jungle Hunter so great is that he’s rarely seen; he doesn’t even get a reveal until over an hour into the movie. It’s similar to Jaws in that regard.
However, whenever the Jungle Hunter is on-screen, he is performed perfectly by Kevin Peter Hall in 1987’s Predator. The subtle nuances, the honor-based removal of the bio-helmet, and the brutality are just so perfect in this movie. It helps that the movie around him is also an all-time classic.
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