Lionsgate's new demonic horror Prey for the Devil is possessing headlines lately, from the recently-revealed poster art to a full trailer release. In preparation for the film's theatrical take-over on October 28, just in time for Halloween, director Daniel Stamm sat down with Bloody Disgusting for an exclusive interview to discuss the newest addition to the demon possession sub-genre. Stamm offered insight into what sets Prey for the Devil apart from its horror counterparts, from the depth and nuance of the script, the original concept of a demonic outbreak plaguing Earth, to a female protagonist.

The premise of Prey for the Devil stems from a sudden outbreak of demon possessions across the globe, which compels the Catholic Church to reopen exorcism schools for young priests. Equipping the men with the ability to perform the Rite of Exocism will ensure a larger number of spiritual warriors in the battle for souls. When Sister Ann (Jacqueline Byers) is permitted to observe one professor takes notice of her gifts and offers to train the nun. On the frontline of spiritual warfare is where Sister Ann must confront her past demons who are threatening to return for her soul.

Something that's not been done, as far as possession flicks, is to feature a female protagonist as the performer of exorcisms. So often women are the victims of demon possession (read: The Exorcist, The Conjuring, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, etc.) and that's due, in large part, to the staunch traditional requirement of simply being a man in order to become a priest and be admitted to learn the Rite of Exorcism by the Catholic Church. Stamm insists that Prey of the Devil will turn this notion on its head, and that Sister Ann is putting forth the proclamation that "’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.” A noble take on the genre, but let's hope the execution can deliver us from evil.

According to Stamm, Prey also explores past emotional trauma between Ann and her mother, providing another layer to the demon vs. church shtick. In the trailer Sister Ann reveals that her mother struggled with depression, but that even then Ann suspected it was something more sinister at work. The director details the element of mother/daughter trauma, referring to Sister Ann as a victim of childhood trauma and abuse, explaining that "she is a child clinging to her love for her mother so tightly, that she’d rather face the devil himself than accept that her mother didn’t love her." Blurring the lines between reality and metaphor, Stamm says that the persistence of this demon to stake claim of Ann's soul is due to a generational struggle passed down from her mother. Whether this heaped-on trauma gives our protagonist an upper hand or a distinct disadvantage is yet to be determined.