Prey for the Devil

Religious Horror

Prey for the Devil

Jacqueline Byers stars as Sister Ann in 2022’s latest demonic horror movie, Prey for the Devil.

This movie was written by Robert Zappia, who’s known for Halloween H20: 20 Years Later and Five Days to Midnight, and directed by Daniel Stamm, the director of The Last Exorcism and 13 Sins. They were loosely inspired by the case of Anneliese Michel, a woman who died during an exorcism rite in 2013, along with the strange uptick of people requesting exorcisms from the Catholic church in recent years. Having grown up Catholic, Zappia was particularly intrigued by the statistics.

Synopsis:

Prey for the Devil follows many of the same horror tropes you would typically expect in a movie about exorcisms and demons. It follows the journey of Sister Ann, a Catholic nun who seems to have a calling for exorcism despite the misogyny of the church, which will only train priests in the Rite of Exorcism. A professor at the school, Father Quinn (Colin Salmon), agrees to train her under the belief that she has a gift for reaching the demonically tormented. She works with Father Dante (Christian Navarro) in the fight of her life to help a young girl named Natalie (Posy Taylor), whom Ann suspects is possessed by the same demon her mother was once possessed by. Though as the story progresses, Sister Ann’s gift starts seeming less like a divine blessing and more like part of the Devil’s plan.

Trailer:
Movie Info:

Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Daniel Stamm
Written by: Robert Zappia, Todd R. Jones, Earl Richey Jones
Theatrical Release Date: October 28, 2022
Runtime: 93 Minutes

Cast:
Virginia Madsen … Dr. Peters
Jacqueline Byers … Sister Ann
Colin Salmon … Father Quinn
Ben Cross … Cardinal Matthews
Christian Navarro … Father Dante
Nicholas Ralph … Father Raymond
Lisa Palfrey … Sister Euphemia
Yana Marinova … Natalie’s Mother
Tom Forbes … Matt
Posy Taylor … Natalie

Photo Gallery:
Summary:

Reviews for this movie lean more towards the negative end from both critics and viewers alike. The main complaint seems to be the lack of originality, as it closely relies on the cliched chills and thrills of exorcism movies that have come before it, though some negative reviews claim that even those were done poorly enough to leave the movie “scare-free” and dull. Most reviewers agree that the premise of the movie had a lot of potential in terms of modernizing this sub-genre of horror, but they feel that it failed to fully utilize that, instead falling back on the safety net of traditional exorcism narratives.

For other negative reviewers, it was less about the cliches and wasted potential, and more about how seriously the story took itself. They felt the slow pacing dragged the story down and robbed it of the fun thrill most people go to see horror movies for, and couldn’t even do them the service of delivering a coherent plot all the while.

Prey for the Devil┬áhas its fair share of supporters, though, claiming that the majority of negative attention is just a case of people going into a movie with their expectations too high. Most positive reviews pointed out that there’s only so much you can do with a movie like this, and expecting something new and exciting will always fall short. Overall, they felt that the movie was worth the watch simply for the fun of a decent horror movie. They felt the characters were unique and likable and that even though the scare tactics were cliche, it still had them jumping and gasping in all the right places.

While even the positive reviews don’t tout this movie as being anything particularly memorable, they all agree that it was worth the 90 minutes of run time to watch if you don’t go into the movie thinking its going to drastically revolutionize demonic horror. You still get a movie in true style to any movie centering around demonic possession, with creepy little girls crawling backwards up the walls, mouth stretched open too wide and eyes completely black. At the end of the day, what more could be expected?