Prey for the Devil exemplifies how difficult it is for exorcism-themed films to escape the shadow cast by William Friedkin's The Exorcist.
The syntax for telling horror stories established by The Exorcist 50 years ago is still popular. This horror-thriller follows the same style sheet and formula as so many other films before it and offers nothing new.
The plot of the film unfolds slowly, and the jump scares aren't particularly effective. Although the acting is generally adequate, the plot is stale and does not give viewers much to think about.
Rather than delving into the psychological world, Prey for the Devil deals directly with possession and its final exorcism. It's not a stretch to say that most of the scenes and occurrences have been seen before in horror films and that this adds nothing new.
The worst part is that you know exactly what will happen next and that it takes the shortest path to its destination. If only the plot had veered off for a while. Except for a few disturbing images, there isn't much in the film that sticks with you.
The protagonist of this horror thriller is Ann, a Roman Catholic Church nun who is currently dealing with an increase in demonic possession cases.
As a result, the Vatican decides to open several exorcism schools outside of Rome. Ann is assigned to one of these schools in Boston, Massachusetts as a nurse and patient care specialist.
Nuns at these institutions are not permitted to participate in exorcism rituals, but Father Quinn offers to train Sister Ann and later allows her to assist in a demon possession case after noticing that she possesses the necessary skills.
Prey for the Devil is no exception, following exactly the guidelines established by William Friedkin's The Exorcist decades before.
The creators of this film haven't bothered to explain the demon's motivation or what they're after. There isn't a single distinguishing feature in the film that will keep you interested.
In fact, this film is so similar to The Exorcist that there are times when you wonder why you're watching it at all. When inventively plotted horror films like Smile, Babadook, and The Hereditary win awards, it casts doubt on films with exorcism as a central theme. How inventive they can be when few films in the past have essentially catered to all the clichés.
While Colin Salmon as Father Quinn and Jacqueline Byers as Anna both give solid performances, it's difficult to say the same for the rest of the cast. It has a plot that has been recycled several times and has now lost all interest among viewers.
Prey for the Devil is an ordinary film that tries everything to frighten viewers but fails miserably.
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