Review by: Lynn Sorel
Rating: 7 out of 10
Synopsis: New York police officer Ralph Sarchie investigates a series of crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest, schooled in the rites of exorcism, to combat the possessions that are terrorizing their city.
Our Thoughts: Deliver Us From Evil is a gritty new demonic thriller inspired partially by real events. The latest work from director Scott Derrickson, who also directed Sinister, takes place on the streets of NYC, which makes for an extremely dark atmosphere.
The film starts off with as your basic crime film, with Ralph Sarchie and his partner arresting people for extremely strange criminal behavior, when he is approached by a Priest of sorts, named Mendoza, who thinks it’s actually demonic possession. Ralph doesn’t believe in God so he’s a hard sell on the possession theory, but there is no other explanation for what is happening. There is strange script written in various places by the allegedly possessed people, which Mendoza believes are essentially portals to hell. Demons are attempting to come through this world and take over as many people as they can, and Sarchie and Mendoza must stop them before it’s too late.
The demonic effects and gore are extremely well done. The setting is perfect and creepy as hell. There is cool symbolic connection with the classic rock band “The Doors” throughout the film which was interesting to me as a Doors fan. Though there are a few classic themes of possession films that are examined, the story is unique in it’s approach to it. The film has a visceral quality to it, just as I found Sinister to have, that hits hard and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The ending wasn’t what I expected exactly and not normally the type of ending I like, however it worked incredibly well for this story.
Eric Bana is at the top of his game as non-believer Ralph Sarchie. Sean Harris is supremely menacing as the possessed Santino. Olivia Munn does an amazing job as Ralph’s frustrated wife and Joel McHale, known for his role on NBC’s Community, was great as the comic relief in the film. I personally think that Deliver Us From Evil is an underrated and one of the better film to come out in the past year. It’s a refreshing addition to the demonic horror sub-genre.