This helped Prey stand apart from the other movies in the series, but not all the movies took place in the timeframe that the movie was released, and not all of them line up just right in the timeline. While it is not overly important to focus on when the movie takes place, it is a nice way to line up the Predators and see how they advanced and developed throughout the timeline, as well as where their attacks occurred.
The first Predator movie hit theaters in 1987, and that mostly lined up with the story's setting. The movie takes place somewhere around 1987 and follows a paramilitary rescue group sent in to confront a guerilla rebel group with supposed hostages.
This led to the rescuers being dropped into a Central American rainforest on a mission to attack and kill the rebels. However, while in the forest, with only the ammunition they came in with, they find themselves facing the Predator, who was waiting for the perfect humans to hunt for sport.
The second Predator movie switched things up a little. The movie hit theaters in 1990, but that is not when the movie took place. Instead, the filmmakers decided to go into the near future with the movie and had it occur in 1997.
The movie also moved things to a well-populated area for the first time in the series. While most Predator movies took place in secluded areas or smaller towns, this one took place in Los Angeles and had the Predator here targeting gangs who were involved in a deadly war on the streets.
In 2004, the Predators came back in a mashup movie where they battled the Xenomorphs in Alien Vs. Predator. This movie, much like the first Predator movie, was set up to take place at the same time the movie was released, so this took place in or around 2004.
Also, much like the first movie, this took the action and put it in a remote part of the world. In this instance, the Predator mothership lures humans to their hunting grounds in Bouvetøya, which is an island a thousand miles north of Antarctica. However, when the humans arrive at a buried pyramid there, they accidentally awaken a hibernating Alien Queen and the war begins.
The sequel Alien vs. Predator: Requiem arrived three years after the first movie, but it actually took place immediately following the previous installment. That movie ended with the Predator Scar giving his life to kill the Alien Queen, and this movie sees the Predators retrieving his body.
That means this movie, the lowest-rated Predator movie on Rotten Tomatoes, also takes place in 2004 as a direct continuation of the first part of the story. However, the location moves because the Predator ship leaves Bouvetøya and crashlands in Gunnison, Colorado, where they end up battling a hybrid Predalien. This movie ends with hints this was the official prequel to the Alien franchise.
In 2010, the franchise returned to form with no Xenomorphs in site, and just the Predators doing what they do best, hunting other species. In this case, it was three of the best Predators in the franchise hunting some human killers dropped onto an alien game preserve jungle planet.
The jungle brought back memories of the first Predator movie, although the movie was the only one not on Earth, taking place on an unnamed planet. While their arrival on the planet was a mystery, the assumption was that it took place at the same time as the movie's release, so 2010.
The Predator looked to breathe life back into the franchise, bringing back Shane Black and setting up the first actual Predator vs. Predator battle in the franchise, outside of a small skirmish in Predators. The ultimately mediocre Predator movie took place in 2018 and saw a Fugitive Predator arrive on Earth to attempt to help humans battle Predators.
The movie started off in Mexico, where a soldier named McKenna faces the Fugitive Predator first. After this, the location moves to the suburbs where McKenna's son lived and a secret military base of Project Stargazer.
Prey changed everything when it came to the timeframe and location of the Predator franchise. The movie by director Dan Trachtenberg took place in the 1700s, and it's the only installment that took place in the past, which also proved that the Predators had come to Earth a lot more and a lot sooner than anyone could have expected.
As for the location, this took place in the Native American Comanche Nation in 1719. This allowed the people fighting the Predator to have little chance of beating him since they only had spears, knives, and ancient guns with limited ammunition.