Making its debut in theaters Friday, October 28, “Prey for the Devil” has the pressure to deliver top tier spooky vibes this Halloween weekend. Robert Zappia wrote and Daniel Stamm directed this Lionsgate production, which bolsters a diverse cast and a sinister plot.
The film’s “strong female protagonist,” Sister Ann (Jacqueline Byers), believes she is answering a calling to be the first female exorcist. The matter of who or what called her is up for debate. But in good horror film fashion, Sister Ann responds to the call and a global rise in demonic possessions by enrolling in an exorcism school reopened by the Catholic Church.
Although, the Rite of Exorcism, up until this point at least, has been reserved for priests (aka men only).
According to the film’s synopsis, however, a professor (Colin Salmon) recognizes Sister Ann’s gifts and agrees to train her. It’s not long before she and fellow student Father Dante (Christian Navarro) find themselves in a battle for the soul of a young girl. Sister Ann believes the girl is possessed by the same demon that tormented her own mother years ago.
“A story about a male exorcist has one point of conflict: church vs. demon. But a female exorcist needs to fight the demon AND the church to whose doctrine she poses a much bigger threat than the devil himself does,”Stamm told Bloody Disgusting. “So this question was important to us when we made the movie: what skill set is our heroine accessing that her male colleagues are not? In our story, Sister Ann is saying: ‘You guys have made this all about yourself, enamored with the image of yourself bravely fighting demons. The devil is using your vanity to distract you – it’s time to focus on the victim, the possessed, the one you claim to be fighting for. You need to make them more than the battlefield you are stomping around in. Let’s stop screaming our bible verses and listen for a moment, instead’.”
The film also features Virginia Madsen, star of the original “Candyman”, alongside Lisa Palfrey, Nicholas Ralph and Ben Cross.
“Prey for the Devil” is rated PG-13 and produced by Paul Brooks (“Pitch Perfect” franchise, “The Haunting in Connecticut,” “White Noise”), Jessica Malanaphy, Todd Jones and Earl Richey Jones. Executive Producers are Scott Niemeyer, David Brooks and Brad Kessell.
In the words of Father Quinn: “Let’s descend into the mouth of hell shall we.”