The new horror film from Lionsgate, Prey for the Devil, takes on the over-saturated exorcism horror genre. However, in this story along with trying to save a young child from the demon that possesses her, they’re also breaking glass ceilings.
In the film, the Roman Catholic Church recognizes a possible rise in demonic possessions. So, they open schools that train priests to perform exorcisms. Nuns are there to act as caretakers only and are forbidden to perform the rite. However, Sister Ann (Jacqueline Byers) has been followed by an entity her whole life, and now it has come for her at the school. In order to protect herself, Father Quinn (Colin Salmon) is granted permission to bend the rules and train her in exorcism.
WHAT PREY FOR THE DEVIL GETS RIGHT
What I find happens all too often in horror films is the final product cares more about scares and less about story and characters. Prey for the Devil does a great job of balancing both making this overdone genre somehow feel exciting and new. I appreciate getting a deeper dive into Sister Ann’s past allowing us to understand her future. While sometimes predictable, the storyline is relatable and lays all the pieces perfectly to the final moments.
I appreciated that we were allowed to see these characters fail many times in multiple ways. They aren’t magically great exorcists, and their humanity and pride get the better of them. Jacqueline Byers may be a new face, but her portrayal in this film will make her unforgettable. The film is set up for a sequel and I would love to see Sister Ann and Father Dante (Christian Navarro – 13 Reasons Why) kicking demon ass and taking names.
What is an exorcism film with our terrifying demon moments? Prey for the Devil does a great job of giving the audience the creepy moments we love while adding its own twist.
All THAT BEING SAID I WANT MORE SCARES
It’s complicated. The thing I loved about Prey for the Devil is also where I think it falls short. While the film gets a good balance of character building, great story, and creep I think we could’ve had more scary. I watched this film alone and didn’t find myself scared ever. This is a demon possession film…I should get scared. That’s really it. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this film’s take on the exorcism genre and think it’s absolutely worth a watch!
Prey for the Devil hits theaters on Friday, October 28th, 2022!