Coco the dog was the chaotic MVP of ‘Prey’

SPOILER ALERT: The smallest of spoilers for Preynamely the fate of the film’s dog.

It’s not easy being a dog lover and a horror fan. One of the most common horror tropes and warning signs is the death of family pets, and there have been countless horror movies that get rid of the dog. So when Sarii the dog first accompanies Naru (Amber Midthunder) into the woods in the Predator prequel Prey, I expected the worst. SPOILER ALERT: Sarii lives, and not only does she live, but she steals the whole fucking movie.

Director Dan Trachtenberg was inspired to include a canine companion in Mad Max: The Road Warrior, which sees its titular hero paired with a loyal pup. In an interview with Dexterohe said the movie was a “big inspiration to have a badass and their dog…I love having that buddy relationship with that creature, with another animal, in the middle of a Predator movie.”

Sarii was played by Coco, a breed of greyhound from Carolina believed to have been used by native people for tracking and hunting. But although Coco is a Caroline dog, she’s not a seasoned movie dog, which led to a chaotic atmosphere on set. Coco was adopted for the film, so there was a learning curve for the dog. Trachtenberg described the shoot as “Always a thrilling moment for us on set, ‘Is Coco going to love it and make her mark and do what she has to do?’ … It was sometimes a journey to get there, but ultimately she always made it. It was very exciting, lots of cheering when we finally had a good grip with Coco.

Midthunder joked, “She was kind of a disaster,” adding, “She was a little messy – but in a sweet way. She wasn’t a movie dog, she was literally adopted to be in this movie, and she happened to be very energetic…She was such a pleasure to have around, she was so fun and very playful. And then it would be time to do things… sometimes she would, sometimes she wouldn’t. But of course, everything went well, because she was awesome and everyone loves her.

Do you like a chaotic yet lovable high-energy dog? Sounds familiar to many dog owners. And Coco is already a star of the movie, with Trachtenberg noting “Everyone while we were developing it and showing cuts to our friends and family, was like, ‘No more dog! We love dog!’ I was like, ‘You don’t understand. We’re using every usable frame from this dog.”

Is it too early for an #OscarforCoco campaign?

(via Dextero, featured image: David Bukach/20th Century Studios)

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