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Oct 22, 2023

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A masked stalker terrorizes teen babysitters in a suburban home in the third and final film of the PRAY Christian horror trilogy created by Matt Mitchell and Cross Shadow Productions. This meta-horror (watch out, A24!) takes us into multiple layers of references as teen protagonists Sloan and Allyson manifest their horrific encounter by watching the original PRAY film while spending the night in the actual house where it was shot. We learn in PRAY 3 that this house is still inhabited by the series’s original “final girl,” Laurie Curtis (an obvious reference to HALLOWEEN’s protagonist Laurie, portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis). When Laurie leaves for the evening to go on a dinner date with her husband, she can’t imagine the horror that threatens her hired babysitters in her absence. Christian horror is always novel because it’s interesting to see how a devoutly Christian DIY filmmaker will have to circumvent the obvious obstacles that would prevent their film from being G-rated while still being influenced by their favorite secular horror films. The PRAY series uses a lot of bloodless fake outs, silly jump scares, and closeups of wholesome Halloween decorations to remind us that although Halloween can be scary, there is no evil in the world that can defeat God’s love. PRAY 3 also manages to sneak in a direct warning to teens that there is absolutely no reason for young men and women to spend any time together unless accompanied by an adult. This Halloween, the scares are close to home, but our morals are more powerful than ever!

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