Thursday, June 26, 2014

Deliver Us From Evil (2014)
Releases July 2nd, 2014
1 hr 58 mins
Rated R


Scott Derrickson

Eric Bana as Ralph Sarchie
Édgar Ramírez as Mendoza
Sean Harris as Santino
Joel McHale as Butler
Olivia Munn as Ralph’s wife
Dorian Missick as Gordon
Chris Coy as Jimmy Tratner
Rhona Fox as Zookeeper
Valentina Rendón as Claudia
Olivia Horton as Jane Crenna

Review by Stephen M.

Deliver Us From Evil by Director Scott Derrickson is based on the book "Beware the Night" by retired cop and current Demonologist Ralph Sarchie.  The book covers the bumps in the night he experienced as a police officer working the night shift in the Bronx.  The movie is based on one of the cases discussed in the book.  The story starts off in Iraq, 2010 where three U.S. soldiers on a mission enters a creepy cave.  When their video blacks out to the screams of their voices, we race forward to 2013...

Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) and his partner Butler (Joel McHale) are two experienced cops working the night shift.  Ralph has something his partner calls "radar", which is like your Spider senses to something extraordinary that will go down.  The duo comes across several cases that are seemingly linked together.  We learn later that the individuals involved are either the former soldiers mentioned in the beginning of the film or related to them.  During this time, unorthodox Father Mendoza (Édgar Ramírez) introduces himself to Ralph and later assists him as the linked cases shows Ralph that everything is not as it seems. It also doesn't help Ralph that with his long night shifts daily that his wife and child are neglected, leaving them vulnerable.

The screening I attended was a premiere in which Director Scott Derrickson was in attendance and spoke about how he wanted to make the film not strictly a horror film but part police procedural and supernatural. To a good degree, I think he definitely accomplished this as the film was more of a thriller then a true horror film.  The film was not without its eerie hair raising moments though.  But with intermittent buddy cop moments and even between Ralph and Mendoza, it's not a straight foward spiral to hell.  Other than speaking in strange voices, the antagonists can easily be mistaken for drugged up miscreants than demonically possessed individuals.  The acting overall is good, though not great, especially by Bana and Munn.  But what really leaves me empty in this movie is some of the loose ends in the movie.  Such as what happened to the below pictured lady in the jail scene.

Overall, I would recommend the film, but you may want to catch a matinee.  If you're looking for a pure horror film, then you're barking up the wrong tree.  There are certain elements and explanations that could have been done better.  But it's definitely still worth watching.  The filmmakers take on the susceptibility to the supernatural for Ralph was interesting especially with modern music.


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