Daniel Stamm made this claim in the same interview with The Hollywood News. And according to the Prey for the Devil boss, a combination of tactics made Robert Zappia’s script completely unique in his eyes. Per Stamm, the first thing that caught his attention was the script, which largely ignored questions about the mental health of the character involved. “You bought a ticket to an exorcism movie, so it’s a possession,” Stamm notes giddily, adding, “We don’t have to spend 45 minutes on that.”
The clever setup left Stamm free to really indulge in the film’s set pieces. More importantly, it has allowed him to focus more on the character. And he makes it clear that the film’s main protagonist, Sister Ann, is what really sets Prey for the Devil apart, stating, “Then if it’s a female protagonist, that changes everything.” As the film’s trailer points out , historically, nuns were not permitted to study or perform sanctioned exorcisms in the Catholic Church, and Stamm notes that this introduces a daring new bone of contention to the exorcism narrative.
Stamm goes on to say that the character’s use of less than biblical, victim-first tactics for the central exorcism pushes the story even further away from the traditional obsession. And in the process, Stamm claims that Sister Ann becomes that rare strong female protagonist who doesn’t just do what her male counterparts would have done. “She comes into play with an almost secular therapeutic approach,” says the filmmaker, continuing, “and she challenges patriarchy…she ushers in a new era.” Stamm is clearly hoping that genre lovers will embrace the narrative refreshment as much as he has — though critics mostly haven’t (via Rotten Tomatoes).