“Prey for the Devil” is an Adequate Halloween-Timed Scare

Synopsis: A nun prepares to perform an exorcism and comes face to face with a demonic force with mysterious ties to her past.
Director: Daniel Stamm
Stars: Jacqueline Byers, Virginia Madsen, Colin Salmon

German filmmaker Daniel Stamm likes to play in the dark; he likes dark subject matter, dark films, and the horror genre. Admittedly, the last project of his that I watched was an episode of the television show Them. I didn’t care for Them. An accurate description of the series would be hot garbage, but Stamm doesn’t take the entire blame for that. No, there was a lot to spread around.

His last feature film was also about exorcisms, so he clearly has an interest in it. Prey for the Devil is appropriately being released on Halloween weekend with the hope many people looking for a good fright will go and check it out. It tells the story of Sister Ann (Jacqueline Byers), who works at a school that trains priests to perform exorcisms. It seems the Vatican has had to farm that responsibility out.

As a woman, her role is mainly to care for patients and leave the job of exorcisms to the men.  However, one of the priests, Father Quinn (Colin Salmon), sees no harm in her learning the skills necessary.

She also seems to connect with more than one of the patients being treated. Is she the exorcism whisperer? Really? What gives?

I have discussed many times that horror films are very challenging to review because these films are often met with a certain level of stubbornness which usually has somebody declaring, ‘these movies don’t scare me!’.Respectfully, Prey for the Devil isn’t trying to scare you as much as startle you. The jump scares in this movie come often and get somewhat predictable.

Byers is strong in this movie. Her performance as Sister Ann is believable enough to get you through the 95 minutes of this film. I also liked Colin Salmon; he has a dignified presence on screen and brought a lot to the character.

I didn’t dislike this film, but my overall feelings weren’t to run out and recommend it for all to see. If I could sum up my feelings in a word or a phrase, it would be . . . Meh, been there, done that.

There is a good mix of ‘ok, that was cool’ moments together with ‘oh, that trope . . . again.’ There are better movies in the horror/thriller genre that are in theatres now that deserve recommendation and your attention over this film.

Wait for this to come to a streaming service before jumping in.

Prey for the Devil is an adequate movie that will be gone from your thoughts hours after seeing it.

Perhaps Stamm should investigate other film genres.  We got it that you like exorcism movies, but what else can you do? And for the love of God, don’t tell me Them Season 2.

Grade: C

Watch the movie trailer: