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Prey For The Devil 4K UHD Review

“Prey For The Devil” doesn’t quite overcome the cliches. 

In the 2022 horror film “Prey For The Devil,” the story begins with a young girl (Ann) who is  tormented by her schizophrenic mother who might also possibly have been demonically possessed. The story jumps ahead in time where we find Ann has become a nun who serves as a nurse at an exorcism school. Ann has interest in being an exorcist, but only males are prohibited to do exorcism training. Ann meets a young girl patient (Natalie) who is possessed by a demon who seems to have a fixation with Ann (the explanation of why is revealed later). Ann wants to help Natalie despite the school not allowing her to. Elsewhere in the story there’s a key subplot involving Father Dante (an exorcist in training) who becomes an ally of Ann’s.

Possession movies and exorcism stories have become quite commonplace so it’s not surprising to see yet another theatrical film in these subgenres. “Prey For The Devil” starts out promising enough as writer Robert Zappia explores topical subjects about mental health, trauma (and confronting trauma), and sexism in the Catholic Church, but the intrigue quickly becomes spoiled by exorcism/possession movie cliches and a “twist” ending that is far too convenient. Moreover, rather than leaning more into the psychological terrors, director Daniel Stamm focuses on jump scares (which feature an overabundance of CGI) and visual imagery that is all too familiar to horror fans. It’s a shame the final act collapses into generic tropes as there’s a decent movie to be found somewhere within the material.

Performance wise, this is very much Jacqueline Byers’ movie although there are sizable parts for Colin Salmon (Father Quinn), Virginia Madsen (Dr. Peters) and Christian Navarro (Father Dante) who are all solid in their roles. Byers (who is perhaps best known for roles in TV series like “Roadies” and “Salvation”) has a strong screen presence and does a fine job leading the movie. It will be interesting to see where his career goes from here. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 2160p. Grade: A-

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. Grade: A-

Extras:
* Blu-ray copy
* Digital copy
* Commentary by director Daniel Stamm and star Jacqueline Byers.
* “The Devil’s Tricks: Visual Effects” featurette.
* “Speak No Evil: A Real Exorcist And Church Psychologist Discuss Possession”- The title says it all
* “Prey For The Devil Cast-Read: The Original First Draft Screenplay”- A 2 hour Zoom read through.
* “Possessed: Creating Prey For The Devil”- A near 42 minute making of featurette contains interviews, discussions about how the project came about and the production itself, film clips, and more.
* “A Lullaby Of Terror” revolves around the music/score.

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January 2, 2023 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , ,

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