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Daniel Stamm
Jacqueline Byers, Colin Salmon, Ben Cross
Robert Zappia

A nun prepares to perform an exorcism and comes face to face with a demonic force with mysterious ties to her past.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend:
$7,185,126 on 2980 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Descriptive Audio
French Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 93 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 1/3/2023

• Audio Commentary with Director Daniel Stamm and Actor Jacqueline Byers
• ”Possessed” Documentary
• “A Lullaby of Terror” Featurette
• “The Devil’s Tricks” Featurette
• “Cast Read” Script Discussion
• “Speak No Evil” Panel


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-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Prey for the Devil [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 26, 2022)

Over the nearly 50 years since The Exorcist became a massive hit, plenty of genre-mates have appeared. With 2022’s Prey for the Devil, we get this theme with a gender-related twist.

When supposed demonic possessions spike around the globe, the need for exorcists escalates as well. Previously only priests could seek this duty, but a nun named Sister Ann (Jacqueline Byers) pursues this goal at a school run by Father Quinn (Colin Salmon).

Sister Ann shows talent and eventually gets to deal with possessed young Natalie (Posy Taylor). As she also contends with issues from her own past, Ann battles for Natalie’s soul.

Does it seem superficial that I view the movie title’s pun as a bad sign? I just feel like a film with greater confidence in its quality might not opt for such a clever-clever moniker.

Whether or not Prey deserves judgment based on its title, my preconceived notion proved correct. Despite its gender shift, the movie brings nothing new to the genre.

Of course, not every film needs to reinvent wheels to work. A well-executed rendering of an oft-visited story can still fare well.

Unfortunately, Prey fails to fall into that category. Little more than a compilation of genre clichés, it becomes a tedious 93 minutes.

Too few filmmakers feel confident enough to allow the material to work on its own, so they pour on trite cinematic techniques to compensate. These abound in the predictable Prey.

Rather than let scares develop organically, Prey overdoes “creepy” music from the very start. These musical choices occur even when not especially appropriate, so the film can never create any real sense of mood beyond this forced impression of “evil”.

All the usual methods appear as well. We get shakycam to impart a “real” vibe, and we find more than a handful of cheap jump scares.

Nothing about the basic concept here forces Prey to falter. As overdone as the theme may be, exorcism tales can still work, and the use of a female lead adds potential impact.

Those involved with Prey simply can’t find anything creative or unusual beyond that character twist. This winds up as a wholly forgettable horror experience.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus A-

Prey For the Devil appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a generally positive presentation.

Sharpness looked solid. A few shots were slightly soft, but not to a substantial degree, so most of the movie seemed accurate and concise.

No jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. Source flaws were a non-factor, as the movie stayed clean.

Like most modern flicks, Prey favored a moderate teal tint with a dollop of amber as well. Within their dingy parameters, the colors appeared solid.

Blacks seemed deep and tight, while shadows were smooth and well-delineated. In the end, the transfer proved to be appealing.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, I also felt positive about the pretty good Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Prey. Given the nature of the story, moody environmental information dominated the mix.

These elements filled out the speakers in a fairly involving manner. The movie didn’t become a constant whiz-bang soundfield, but it created a decent sense of place.

The more active “scare moments” used the spectrum in the most dynamic manner, but they failed to appear on a frequent basis. Instead, music and moody ambience became the most prominent components.

Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise. Effects depicted the elements with acceptable accuracy and boasted pleasing low-end when necessary.

Music showed positive clarity and range, and they also packed solid bass response at times. This was a perfectly positive mix for the material.

When we go to the set’s extras, we begin with an audio commentary from director Daniel Stamm and actor Jacqueline Byers. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, shooting during COVID, sets and locations, music, editing, effects and related domains.

Expect a fairly decent but unexceptional track here. While Stamm and Byers offer a reasonable take on the production, the chat never catches fire so don’t expect an especially memorable discussion.

Next comes Possessed goes for 41 minutes, 52 seconds. It offers notes from Stamm, Byers,producers Todd R. Jones, Earl Richey Jones and Jessica Malanaphy, screenwriter Robert Zappia, executive producers David Brooks and Brad Kessell, costume designer Elena Stoyanova, hair and makeup department head Daniela Avramova, production designer Jonathan McKinstry, property masters Andrey Filchev and Zdravko Vasilev, director of photography Denis Crossan, stunt coodinator Asen Asenov, editor Tom Elkins, and actors Virginia Madsen, Posy Taylor, Colin Salmon, Christian Navarro, and Nicholas Ralph.

“Possessed” looks at the project’s roots and development, the screenplay, story and characters, cast and performances, costumes and hair/makeup, the impact of COVID on the production, sets and locations, photography, Stamm’s attitude on the shoot, and editing.

Unsurprisingly, “Possessed” repeats some notes from the commentary. Nonetheless, it brings plenty of new perspectives and becomes a pretty engaging production overview.

A Lullaby of Terror lasts eight minutes, 41 seconds and features Brooks, Elkins, and composer Nathan Barr. We get some notes about the movie’s score in this short but worthwhile piece.

With The Devil’s Tricks, we find a three-minute, 52-second program that shows a “progression reel” for various visual effects. While this proves enjoyable, it’d work better if it came with discussion/commentary.

Cast Read goes for one hour, 59 minutes, 52 seconds and provides a run-through of the movie’s first draft screenplay. Done via an online conference call, Stamm introduces the piece and then Zappia offers all the script’s stage directions.

Along the way, we get performances from Byers, Taylor, Ralph, Salmon, Stamm, and actors Michael Adler, Talmadge Ragan, Cora Kirk and Lisa Palfrey.

This program offers an unusual twist since it does focus on Zappia’s first draft, a fact that means it differs in many ways from the final product. This turns into a pretty cool addition to the disc.

Finally, Speak No Evil lasts one hour, one minute, 12 seconds and delivers another online conference call discussion. Zappia chats with authors Father Vincent P. Lampert and Richard Gallagher.

“Evil” examines aspects of exorcisms as they occur in modern society. The chat could use a skeptic, as all involved clearly believe in demons and whatnot, but they nonetheless offer a good perspective on their views.

Beyond its use of a female exorcist, Prey for the Devil fails to bring anything new to its well-worn genre. The movie embraces trite concepts and techniques to become a forgettable affair. The Blu-ray offers positive picture and audio along with a surprisingly strong roster of bonus materials. Not much about the movie stands out from the crowd.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

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