Prey for the Devil

Prey for the Devil

In response to a global rise in demonic possessions, the Catholic Church reopens exorcism schools to train priests in the Rite of Exorcism. On this spiritual battlefield, an unlikely warrior rises: a young nun, Sister Ann. Thrust onto the spiritual frontline with fellow student Father Dante, Sister Ann finds herself in a battle for the soul of a young girl and soon realizes the Devil has her right where he wants her.

  • Released: 2022-10-28
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Genre: Horror, Thrillers
  • Stars: Jacqueline Byers, Virginia Madsen, Ben Cross, Colin Salmon, Christian Navarro, Nicholas Ralph, Lisa Palfrey, Tom Forbes, Velizar Binev, Owen Davis, Debora Zhecheva, Cora Kirk, Posy Taylor, Elizabeth Gibson
  • Director: Daniel Stamm
  • iceman-johnson - 8 January 2023
    i'd rather be possessed than watch this again.
    A very box standard exorcism movie with a terrible plot, very lame visual effects and extremely pradictable jump scares. And the twist was pathetic.

    I found the main character very unlikable and her actions to be over the top. I get they were trying to make the character a bit rebellious by her wearing dr marten boots under her robes, giving sick children secret sweets and her sneaking into exorcism class that's only meant for the fellas but all i got from her character was she was very disrespectful unless she got what she wanted and personally i thought she came across as very childish and unlikable. She is a nun and knows the ways of the church but she answers back her mother superior, steals classified documents and goes against any warnings given to her by people higher up and not once is she punished and only given a small telling off for causing somebody's death and instead of realistically thrown out the church for being insubordinate. She's also constantly held in high regard by everybody because apparently and has a gift.

    The gift she apparently has is being super nice and telling the possessed its ok to feel shame. In the hundreds of years the church has dealt with exorcisms not once did anybody think of telling the possessed in a calm voice its ok ....sure.

    There's nothing that really stands out about her from anybody else but everybody around her wont stop kissing her butt for some odd reason and keep stating she has something special and is amazing when she's never really shown doing anything that proves it apart from talking down a demon....who never really left and came back worse!!!

    Talking about the people around her, they all seem completely useless in this film. You could pull every character out of this movie except the lead and the little girl and get the same result. They are only there to be in the background or to highlight how great the lead is.

    They just seem to pop in and out of scenes every so often to praise or ask for help from the lead.

    I was really expecting after the lead kept answering back to her mother superior and things got a bit tense with them that this would anger the mother superior and she would become an antagonist and would try her hardest to sabotage our leads mission to become an exorcist because she still believes in the old ways of the church, but no. She ends up praising the lead and tells father quinn she apparently worries about her...sure.

    They also seem to set up some characters as foes with our lead but then in a heartbeat they like her for no reason.

    The little girl is not scary and im sure its her first acting role as well because she was just terrible. Pulling stupid faces and stretching your mouth wide while bogging your eyes just looks stupid and not remotely scary. The crappy cgi they added to her made it even worse and you can tell they even noticed this themselves and Eventually they just dressed her up as a cosplay regan and tell her to stand there growling, it was really cringe and nobody would think she was frightening or intimidating even young teenagers.

    Now onto father, ex gang member turned priest dante. They couldn't emasculate a character anymore if they tried. I mean this guy was so useless it hurt to watch. 95% of the time he just stood there looking scared or crying and constantly had to be prompted by the lead to do stuff, the other 5% of the time he's making smiley faces to the lead like he's in awe of her even though she's done absolutely nothing to gain this awe. I honestly thought he had a crush on her but no, he just really liked her because apparently she's special.... sure.

    Father Quinn played by colin salmon is great in this and his voice is fantastic but he is very underused and hes also smitten by the lead Just Like father dante. He just seems to only stand there or appear to add little bits to the story. He rarely really puts his foot down or takes control in what's going like a normal teacher would or should do, he just seems to let the lead do what she wants. It would have been better if we saw there was a bit of a push and shove situation between him and the lead where they eventually see eye to eye but noooo, once again he just likes her because shes amazing for some reason.

    Virginia madsen also makes and appearance in this playing the church psychiatrist who also has every other characters traits. She is also smitten with the lead for no reason and really does nothing but pop in and out to praise the lead.

    Spoilers.... so It turns out that the little girl is the daughter of our lead and is the result of a one night stand she had when she was like 15 . How do we know this? Did she take a DNA Paternity test? Find some Hospital or adoption papers or records that prove this? Nope.

    The little girl gave father dante some rosary beads after she killed everybody in an ambulance. And they were the same as the ones that our lead gave her daughter when she put her up for adoption. Years before. This is apparently enough evidence to know that this child is her love child 100%. It's never even questioned or double checked, she's just absolutely convinced hands down that the girl is her child without any follow up even though she knows the possessed can manifest things at will and uses manipulation to trick anybody it meets. This is pretty much lore in the possessed movie/story genre so how she and even father dante just went with it is complete bullsh**t and seems completely out of character for our lead whos somebody who claims to see the angles that others don't.

    The part where she "exorcises" father dantes sister who then goes on to commit suicide is another part that makes absolutely no sense and shows that all the characters act completely off. Father dantes mum complains to the church about our leads pathetic attempt at a exorcism and she's summons to the high priest with the big ears where all the church cast are. Shes told that her actions caused father dantes sisters death because she thought she cured her so nobody kept an eye on her and she commited suicide.this was not an exorcism sanctioned by the church and It's not mentioned but that leaves them wide open to being sued by father dantes mother. Instead of going all fire and brimstone on her they give our lead a small dressing down and then she tells THEM what's going to be her punishment and thats shes going back to another nunnery and they all just accept it.... try that at your job if your on the verge of being fired for being insubordinate and see what happens lol.

    In the end as our lead eventually takes the demon from the little girl and now shes possesed with it and apparently her mum is haunting her and telling her to fight the demon.. our lead trusts this advice from this voice who sounds like the women who brutally abused her as a child and she pulls herself into a pool of holy water they had in a crypt in the bottom of the school. This somehow stops her being possessed and father dante pulls her out before she drowns and she of course lives.

    Here's the problem. Did nobody ever think of dunking one of these possessed people in the holy water in the hundreds of years its been there or does it only work if you fight your own demons at the same time or do you need to have the ghost of a schizophrenic person there with you?

    Afterwards everything and everyone is fine and once again everybody takes a minute to praise our lead and tell her how special she is and how proud they are and she also gets a promotion to the vatican ....sure.

    She takes a cab to go to the airport and while sitting in traffic she spots an elderly women just standing in the street staring her this is followed by a mass of quick cut shots and a possessed guy appears in the taxi next to her and the elderly women is now at the window and she reaches for her cross like shes packing heat and holds it up like she's about unload some biblical bullets in them pesky demons but then its cuts to black and the movie ends.

    I honestly can't see anybody finding this interesting ,scary or thought provoking,the story and twist is trash and it uses jumpscares to a unprecedented scale, i swear there's like one every few seconds and the big ones you can see a mile off. The lead comes of as a smug know it all and the rest of the cast only seem to be there to suck up to her. There were points in the film that seemed like they were going in another direction but nothing ever came of it. Maybe if they had elaborated on this points and made some sort of subplot out of them and make the story a bit more complex there would be a better more fleshed out movie.

    If you enjoy paranormal films this might be one to give a miss they really lost focus on the story by trying to make a point that really didn't need to be made. I'm not going to elaborate on this point but im sure you now what they were pushing for.

    Its a 2 star rating from me.
  • SnoopyStyle - 7 January 2023
    nothing special
    Sister Ann (Jacqueline Byers) is eager to learn exorcism despite it being a field only for priests. She is haunted by her childhood with her disturbed mother and an incident as a teenager. Father Quinn (Colin Salmon) allows the nun to attend the class despite the rules. She and fellow student Father Dante (Christian Navarro) battle a demon she believes to have possessed her mother in the past for the soul of a young girl.

    It's a possession movie. It's nothing new except she being female. I doubt even that is anything new. The only memorable horror is the eye scene. Everything else is either standard or unremarkable. Nothing stands out as really bad, but nothing impressed me either. There are some actors. Everybody is doing workmanlike work. This is a dime a dozen.
  • nikos_belitsis - 7 January 2023
    So poor script...
    Another exorcism horror movie. Another movie that uses sudden noises to scare you, to get you off your couch. It doesn't succeed except 1-2 times when you might have your attention elsewhere.... Hasn't the subject of exorcism been exhausted? Isn't this just another repeat? It is! You don't know in advance what you will see? You know! Script so poorly written that it probably doesn't exist. There is only one central idea. That is to say, a woman - priest who will undertake the exorcism despite the reactions. On the plus side? One and only. The lead actress is decent in her role. That's it, though. She deserves better texts to be featured. The end of the movie? Simply, the movie had to end. That's it.
  • rahulnearu - 6 January 2023
    Must Watch
    Must Watch Very well executed. Love to watch .Ending was too good. After a long days I saw such a nice ending of a I am expecting more upcoming chapter of the movie. I don't want give any spoilers and don't want to extend the review. Just now I remembered the rolling stones famous song

    Time is on my side Yes, it is Time is on my side Yes, it is Now you always say that you want to be free But you'll come running back (Said you would baby) You'll come running back (I said so many times before) You'll come running back to me Oh, time is on my side Yes, it is Time is on my side Yes, it is You're searching for good times But just wait and see You'll come running back (I won't have to worry no more) You'll come running back (Spend the rest of my life with you, baby) You'll come running back to me Go ahead, go ahead and light up the town And baby, do everything your heart desires Remember, I'll always be around And I know, I know Like I told you so many times before You're gonna come back, baby 'Cause I know You're gonna come back knocking Yeah, knocking right on my door Yes, yes!

  • malbanese - 3 January 2023
    meh, Priests and Catholicism are scarier
    The premise? You've seen it before. The actors? Probably Needed the work? The script? Possibly funded by the Vatican (who knows or cares) however lacklustre to say the least. The special effects? Leave a lot to be desired in this day and age (Considering 'The Exorcist" still stands today as one of the most frightening films, thanks to Dick Smith's fantastic effects.) The problem with the churn factory of Hollywood and the fodder they produce these days, is that there is no originality or perspective of reality or the times. What do I mean? Well, the whole way through this film, all I could think of was, "How is it that these people still believe in god, when he allows Catholic priests to prey on children and they get away with it?". So I find my self sympathising with the demon and conjuring all sorts of interesting plot ideas throughout the film, where the entity is protecting the child from the evils of religion, and punishing the priests for their harmful ways.

    The fact that reality has not provoked or infiltrated films like this is an insult to our intelligence and boring to the viewer to say the least. Next film to come along that has 'devil' or 'exorcism' in the title, I can assure you, the story and ideas, will all be the same.

    Tune out. Don't bother. Ho Hum.
  • Stanlee107 - 2 January 2023
    The nun-orcist?!
    There is a lot of touchy subject matters involved in this film. It is an ok film with the disturbing flashback scenes. The protagonist Ann (Jacqueline Byers) endured some childhood trauma that led her down the path to becoming a nun.

    In a world in which men are exclusively the exorcists, Ann longs to break this tradition & save the soul of a young girl, Natalie (Post Taylor). Father Quinn (Colin Salmon) sees something special in Ann & invites her along to learn and join in real exorcism. The film tries to make this act of exorcism seems "exciting" but the Godfather of this genre the Exorcist has already perfected this & the Conjuring did a pretty decent job at this too.

    I didn't buy into this "excitement". Priests & a nun that carry out exorcism may sound fascinating on paper but it just didn't translate well into film version. It is a shame.

    The film moves along at a steady pace and it concludes as predictable as it comes. The finale exposition that foreshadows the end scene is not required. They do not spoon fed the ending to the audience... It is as obvious as day turning into night!
  • mason25 - 30 December 2022
    Surprisingly mediocre and a let down
    Though it shouldn't have been a let down, it was, everything was in the trailer.

    I thought for sure that there would be some more in depth stuff with her being the first nun allowed to do an exorcism, nope, nothing at all. She just walked in to class and ho hum, all is fine. No struggle whatsoever.

    They opened the door to have a ton of hinted at stuff in the Vatican, nope nothing.

    They go to a "training" exorcism....whatever the f... that is, and the all way too young "fathers", none of which should have been younger than mid 20s IF they had been direct from school to church, which some of them (well one of them) was in a gang, so definitely not a straight career path.

    The twist wasn't even a twist, it was so obvious it was seen coming from the trailer by my blind dog.

    The special effects weren't bad though, until the end when it became your typical scary movie and too dark to actually see anything at all. NOTE TO DIRECTORS, THE AUDIENCE LIKES TO SEE WHATS GOING ON EVEN IF IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE THAT WE CAN SEE IN THE DARK.
  • deloudelouvain - 28 December 2022
    Another possession movie, but worth watching.
    After reading quite a lot of negative reviews I didn't have too high expectations for Prey For The Devil, but I'm glad I gave it a chance because it turned out to be much better than those bad reviews made it sound like. Possession movies, there are just a lot of bad ones and only a few really good ones. This one is certainly worth watching if you like this genre. The possession scenes were well made, quite creepy sometimes and that's what makes these movies stand out from the rest. The story itself is obviously déjà vu so no surprise here but it's all well done. As for the acting it wasn't bad at all. Glad I watched Prey For The Devil, again a proof I shouldn't pay too much attention to very negative reviews as there are just a lot of people that are never satisfied.
  • antonisfotis - 28 December 2022
    Best Exorcism thriller of the decade.
    Well, it surely does not deserve the bad reviews. Actors do quite a decent job, jump scares really deliver, special effects are above average and although the script is more or less what you except from such a movie, it does make your heart beat.

    If you really think it's a boring horror movie or worst for 2022, then you haven't watch SMILE, THE BARBARIAN or PEARL yet...:) It's an exorcism thriller and it's super enjoyable to watch. It's a great movie of its kind. I love thrillers and horror films of every kind (religious stuff is my thing though) and I assure you, have I watched every decent horror film for 2022, this is probably the best one.

    Have fun.
  • enigma49 - 27 December 2022
    Really bad
    It's a standard boring exorcism movie - who wants to watch that these days? I love horror movies and I'm not too demanding and quite easy to scare, but watching people grimace and contort themselves in front of the camera in a "creepy" way is ultimately just annoying. No, a few cracking sound effects, a dark demon voice and a woman as the main character don't make it any better. Apart from that nothing spectacular happens because the main character does not undergo any interesting development during the film - it's all about throwing Bible verses at growling demons. Don't waste your time, watch something else, pet your cat or just go to bed earlier. Your dreams are probably more entertaining than this movie.
  • jrvidal-91192 - 26 December 2022
    There's Potential
    After reading a few comments I felt that it was not just in the raiding. When it comes to the production of scary movies it never hits the audience due to religious affiliations or there expectations of being scared not being met.

    The movie did a great job of introducing a powerful female protagonist. As she faces her past which comes to haunt her. Furthermore, the story did a great job of not taking every spiritual situation lightly. Which for me was a great point that is not met in other movies and felt more of an action movie.

    Not sure if that's what they were going for but I enjoyed every part of it and did not want to pull away.

    My point being that although the movie would not meet any thriller/horror lovers expectation. I still feel that the story was very fulfilling and the protagonist being very likeable. I would be excited to see another movie being made.
  • nogodnomasters - 26 December 2022
    The Voice
    Annie Kraja (Jacqueline Byers) has become a nun and is assisting at the St. Michael School of Exorcism in Boston. She is still haunted by her childhood growing up with a schizophrenic mother who she believed was possessed by a voice. Her mother claimed "the Voice" was after Annie, who would become a "chosen soldier." At the University it builds slow with whispers and then things get going about 20 minutes into the feature. Ann's interest in exorcism placed her in a group of priests as an observer. During the exorcism of a young girl named Natalie (Posy Taylor) Ann steps in and helps the priests who face danger. But the baptism by fire has just begun.

    This is one of the better exorcism films I have seen, perhaps the best since "The Exorcist" in regards to acting and realism. Jacqueline Byers was excellent in her role.

    Guide: No swearing, sex, or nudity.
  • SoumikBanerjee25 - 26 December 2022
    So bland!
    As a result of both the bland, one-dimensional characters with which I did not develop any connection whatsoever, and its uninspiring writing which was filled with many loose ends and limitations, I did not find this to be anything more than an average, run-of-the-mill feature that looks intimidating but does not deliver the desired level of scares.

    On paper, the premise looked promising, but the execution failed to translate that into something I would be pleased with. Although it is not terrible, there could have been a lot more done with this same idea if a different cast and crew had worked both in front and behind the camera (this includes the team responsible for creative decisions as well).
  • joe-2697 - 24 December 2022
    Excellent Thriller - Kept me on the edge of my seat!
    It has been SO long since I watched a great thriller like this. I really enjoyed watching Prey for the Devil.

    The effects were fantastic, the music was spot on, and the movie made me jump quite a few times.

    The acting was also really good... I expected the movie to be just another cheesy thriller about exorcisms, but since the original Exorcist, I have not watched another exorcism movie that came close.

    Prey for the Devil kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. It is a well paced movie that has no slow parts. The acting is believable and the talent of the cast shines. Nothing felt forced. Well done.

    I didn't give it 10 stars for one reason - the ending. Will there be a sequel? Likely (and I hope so) but I was disappointed that it left off the way it did. Maybe because I was so into the movie that I did not want it to end.

    There were only three things I thought were off in the movie: (Spoiler Alerts) (1) the ceiling fan scene - it was a bit out there. Firstly, I do not know anyone that has such a huge ceiling fan in their bedroom, especially since their apartment was clearly in a low-income building. It was a bit out of place. Not to mention when the blades started flying off they did not seem too concerned that it would kill them. Also, once one blade falls off in the real world, the entire fan would wobble and be unbalanced and would likely fall. Maybe the demon kept it straight - after all the demon was making it go that fast in the first place.

    (2) After Ann is successful, the scene with the cardinal offering her to go to the Vatican to train felt strange. Sister Euphemia was proud of Ann, and everyone was in a "high-five" state. Meanwhile pre-climax, they were all upset with Ann and sent her away to the Sisterhood where she grew up. The whole thing felt a bit weird.

    (3) The fact that Ann was willing to go to the Vatican so quickly after learning that Natalie was her daughter. I thought she would decline the offer with the opportunity to get to know her daughter. I don't know - that part was a bit odd since she had just told her that she wants to get to know her (indirectly - the bed scene when Natalie leaves with her adopted mother).

    Those minor things did not ruin the movie though - I still loved it. This is the first time I've seen Jacqueline Byers, and really loved her acting. Christian Navarro and Colin Salmon are also very talented actors and did a great job.

    Great movie though. Looking forward to the sequel!