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Prey For The Devil Movie

Overall, Prey for the Devil ended up being more by the numbers than I had anticipated. Still, the cast is solid, the setting is unique, and I enjoyed the exploration of an Exorcism-like agency. Director Daniel Stamm has a good eye and skill for these kinds of stories and could work well within something darker and edgier. The horror left something to be desired and may have worked better if it never showed the actual moment, Reservoir Dogs style, but everything else surrounding it. But Prey for the Devil ended up being a fun Friday night, and if you can get into these types of movies, there is fun to be had during the great month of October.

Prey for the Devil Movie

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Why do exorcism movies always involve the Catholic church? Do any other religions practice rites of exorcism? What are some of the criticisms of the Catholic practice of exorcism? Has anyone been hurt during an exorcism?

Parents need to know that Prey for the Devil is a demon possession/exorcism movie that argues that women should be allowed to learn the craft of exorcisms. It also urges empathy and understanding, but it's so sluggish and tired that it fails to make much impact. Expect lots of demon-related violence, several jump scares, bodies contorting in weird ways, moments depicting the abuse of a child, dead bodies, blood, and other gross, gory, and shocking digital effects. A woman talks about getting pregnant at age 15, adding, "I was so wasted I don't remember who the father was." Two priests and a nun drink celebratory wine. Language includes a single use of "s--t" and a use of "bitch."

Like many exorcist movies, this one is beautiful to look at (old churches, libraries, stained glass windows), but it has the energy of a sloth, as if it drifted off while gazing at things. Prey for the Devil has a good concept in that it argues that it's time to let women into the exorcism club. It also flips the script by suggesting that people can reach out to the possessed -- who are so hurt and guilty that they don't believe they deserve God's love -- rather than attacking the demon. But it doesn't use these ideas for more than a handful of typical, tired exorcism scenes. The only interesting thing that happens is that the demon makes a ceiling fan spin so fast that the blades snap off and fly across the room.

Everything feels sleepy in this movie, and even Ann delivers her lines in soft, hypnotizing tones. (This is great for the scenes in which she cares for patients, but not so great while fighting demons.) There's no urgency. The first exorcism we see is simply a class project, with two volunteers trying out the process as if they were taking a practical oral exam. It doesn't help that the demons aren't even scary, consisting of the usual low-budget sludgy-looking CGI effects and a handful of jump scares. At least Virginia Madsen is here, lending a little class to the movie, as the doctor in charge at the hospital. And Colin Salmon is great as Father Quinn, with his glorious voice. If only Prey for the Devil had roused itself enough to follow up on its ideas, it might have been worthy of its cast.

Prey for the Devil is a familiar, poorly-crafted horror film that never takes advantage of its premise. This movie is set during a global rise in demonic possessions, where the Catholic Church has reopened exorcism schools to train priests in the Rite of Exorcism. The idea of a world where demonic possessions are a regular occurrence can be terrifying in the right hands and unintentionally hilarious in the wrong ones, but this movie goes down neither route. It leans more toward the latter, recycling horror ideas without executing them in an interesting way.

Ann recovers in the hospital but can say goodbye to Natalie. Natalie reunites with her adopted mother as Ann looks on. As a result of what happened, Ann is rewarded with an academic scholarship to study at the Vatican. As she says her goodbyes to Father Quinn, he reminds her that he knows who she is now that she has battled with the devil.

"Prey for the Devil," a piously dull and scare-free addition to the ever-growing canon of "Exorcist" wannabes, may have drawn inspiration from that news, and maybe from that one amusing scene in that one bad movie. It presents a world where the Vatican's attempts to educate a new generation of holy men on the threat of demonic possession has resulted in the founding of satellite institutions across the globe, all offering extensive studies in the field of sending evil packing. That's not the only wrinkle the film puts in church tradition. No sooner has it introduced the idea of devil-vanquishing trade schools than it's challenging their gendered admission policies. Is there room on the attendance sheet for a holy woman?

This is all quite personal for Ann. She's got a history with Beelzebub, going back to a childhood of abuse at the hands of her mother, who doctors diagnosed as schizophrenic but Ann has always been certain was actually possessed. "Prey for the Devil" gives skepticism a reasonable voice in the form of Virginia Madsen's staff therapist, who rather sensibly reminds her patient that mental illness has been confused for unholiness for centuries. But that's mostly lip service in a movie that feels like a trauma survivor's desperate rationalizations played uncritically straight: "No, see, the devil made her pull out my hair with a comb," Ann insists in so many words when succumbing to her chronic case of the flashbacks.

Does any of this work as a horror movie? Director Daniel Stamm, defying the title of his "The Last Exorcism," offers a few mildly freaky images, like the way the film's cursed schoolgirl (Posy Taylor) nearly chokes on her own supernaturally suctioned hair, or a scene involving a contact lens that's guaranteed to have the ocularly sensitive tightly closing their own vulnerable peepers. Mostly, though, this is just another regurgitation of yesterday's devout scare tactics, spewing diet "Exorcism" clichés as freely as Linda Blair once painted the walls in pea soup. Coupled with the shoddy production values and PG-13 thrills, the impression is of a pilot for a series you won't watch: "The Exor Miss," coming this spring to CBS.

Fans who are checking out the movie will likely want to know if they should stick around after the credits for an additional scene. Many movies these days, especially ones that are part of a franchise, will include extra footage at the end to tease future installments or to give audiences some bonus content.

We're deep into October now, and as the spooky season approaches, all horror lovers are undoubtedly getting ready for some new great horror movies with plenty of jump scares, blood, guts, and mysterious spirits, so why not also throw in there some demonic possession? Well, genre fans are in for a treat this Halloween as the new supernatural horror Prey for the Devil hits our screens. Directed by Daniel Stamm and written by Robert Zappia, we are being given something totally new this October with this brand-new supernatural horror.

We are all surely familiar with exorcism films, from classics like The Exorcist to The Conjuring and Annabelle franchises. Yet, we don't always pay attention to the fact that in these movies, it seems to be that females are typically the victims of demonic possession while the saviors are played by men. However, Prey for the Devil is bringing us something a bit different this October, with not only its leading protagonist being a female but also one who is doing the exorcising and breaking long-held rules. Pray for the Devil is essentially flipping those gender roles on their head and will hopefully explore more of the life of the female priest.

Staring evil right in the face, Sister Ann does her best to fight for her mother and her love; but she soon realizes some similarities with the young girl and quickly understands that the devil has her wrapped around its little finger.

Setting aside deeper meaning from the text, Prey for the Devil is a greatest hits showcase for every overdone horror trope in the book. Scary kids, haunted mirrors, whispers over the soundtrack, repurposed Christian imagery, weak PG-13 body horror, a booming orchestral score, and all the jump scares a person could ever tolerate. There are, at most, one or two big scares that aren't fully stolen from a better movie. Originality is hard to come by in such an oversaturated subgenre, but a dedicated viewer could isolate every cheap pop and find the film it first appeared in within a few hours. Every element of this film that's meant to be scary is tedious at best and miserable at worst. Maybe it'll draw a shocked gasp from an unprepared audience member at some point, but expect a silent theater otherwise.

Prey for the Devil doesn't shy away from the troubled past of the concept, nor does it have a particularly nuanced take on modern issues. It steps dangerously close to depicting people with mental illness as heroes for killing themselves to save others. Prey for the Devil demonstrates even less tact in a subplot about a rape victim who feels so ashamed for aborting the resulting fetus that she willingly allows the devil into her body. If this disgusting concept was unintentional, it represents immense creative laziness and a cloying urge for shock value. If it was intentional, Prey for the Devil becomes hateful propaganda on top of being generally garbage.

There are no redeeming qualities to this film. It has a PG-13 rating that will ensure several young folks see it as their first horror movie. There's truly no other audience that could really enjoy it. When fantastic films are relegated to streaming and there's an interesting new concept available every week, there's nothing to recommend in Prey of the Devil that isn't available elsewhere. Unless the Catholic Church's marketing arm got involved, there's no reason for this film to hit the big screen. The story feels pointless, the scares don't work, the presentation is a mess, and the messaging is either confused or unforgivable. Horror is a notoriously popular genre, and even the worst ideas regularly make a profit. The scariest aspect of Prey for the Devil is the theoretical possibility that its pathetic sequel-bait ending could actually pay off. 041b061a72


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