Opening night of the South by Southwest film festival featured a preview of footage from Predators. Austin local Robert Rodriguez brought a teaser trailer and clip and spoke to the audience about the upcoming sequel. More from him and director Nimrod Antal later, but first some thoughts on the footage.

The teaser trailer, which Rodriguez said was likely to release with Repo Men, got the tone of the original Arnold movie right. It’s all shots of the human characters getting stalked. The camera pushes in on their faces as they turn around to face their unseen (for now) attacker. There are a few hints of familiar creature features, and a brief money shot, but it’s all buildup.

Check out the teaser and more after the jump.

Predators is set on an alien planet, which seems to mostly consist of jungle. It harkens back to the jungle of Predator though it’s not an Earth jungle, and it has a few spaceship-like corridors and windy, sandy shots to indicate a vast planetary biosphere. The predators set some cool traps for the humans as some of the cast go up in nets. They even show a kill. (Spoiler alert: Walt Goggins doesn’t make it.)

The footage totally riled up the audience, and rightfully so. It’s the perfect tease, full of potential to come this July. To me, it’s not the second coming. I’m not THAT hard on Predator 2 and I actually thought the second AVP was exactly what a monster mashup movie should have been.

Predators still has the clichés of badasses, whether they’re criminal or military. I really don’t care who they are. I still want an all monster film, but as long as there’s good action, it’ll be fine. It looks like they know what they’re doing.

Rodriguez and Antal talked about the importance of having real actors do these movies, that playing fear and tension is a crafted skill. The one full scene they showed demonstrated that. Adrian Brody leads his team in the jungle, all looking effectively stalked. When Fishburne, presumably a veteran predator escapee, shows up, he looks like he can handle his sh*t.

The emphasis is on the elements of the original Predator. It was all about the hunt, the stalk. That’s what they’ve gone back to, instead of inner city gang wars or underground pyramids. If that’s what you’re into, it’s not so much about the big reveal, which you know they’re going to have cool predators. The message tonight was this is the first Predator sequel done in the style of the original.

Check out a sneak peak of the footage at the Predators official site.