The movie has all the tools required for a classic horror flick, unfortunately, they are in disarray rendering the end product utterly disappointing
Last Updated: 05.01 PM, Feb 24, 2023
Story: In order to combat a global rise in demonic possessions, the Roman Catholic Church decides to reopen its schools to train priests to perform exorcisms. Nuns are also accepted but they are not allowed to perform exorcism until a professor recognises Sister Ann's gifts and agrees to train her. While trying to exorcise demons, she is also fighting with the demons of her past.
Review: There is often a thin line which distinguishes a good horror film from a bad one. The Prey for the Devil stands well beneath that line. The storyline is akin to any classic possession film; but one of the major things that guide any horror film — the lingering mysteries and spine-chilling moments, which are unfortunately absent from the film. The film centres on a School of Exorcisms run by the Roman Catholic Church, where priests are trained to perform the art of exorcism. The institution also occupies Nuns but they are only allowed to nurse the patients than perform the exorcism.
Enter Sister Ann with her “feminist propaganda” of becoming a female exorcist. A professor recognises her gift of dealing with possessed patients and an exception is made by entering her into the class with only priests. Her past is portrayed through a series of flashback scenes which explains her reasons for being in the school. The scenes lack depth and nuance hence it’s hard to be empathetic towards her situation. She tries to help a young girl named Natalie who she believes is tormented by the same demon as her mother and is ready to go to any lengths to save her. The storyline of why the demon is obsessed with Ann’s soul never gets developed.
The film has quite a few exorcism scenes and they fail to create any sense of build-up to the ultimate showdown. Even jumpscares, a classic horror tool is used so poorly, anyone can see it coming from a mile away. Both Jacqueline Byers (Sister Ann) and Christian Navarro (Father Dante) try their best to play their parts but poor writing becomes their adversary. The film is unable to evoke any sense of horror and it almost feels like its purpose is something else entirely. Any case of mental illness is immediately redirected as a demonic possession and the reason it gives for fatality is ignorance. The film tries to create a female empowerment angle but fails miserably since it’s only barely implied.
Verdict: The only thing that really stands out about this film is the title, which makes it sound better than it is. With the subpar jumpscares and a weak storyline, the film is just a collection of average well-worn sights. All in all, Prey for the Devil is a forgettable and mediocre film.