A review by C J Dee
Director: Scott Derrickson
Starring: Eric Bana, Édgar Ramírez, Joel McHale, Sean Harris
Running time: 118 minutes
Watch this if you liked: The Exorcist, The Conjuring
Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3/5
“Inspired by a true story.”
Ralph Sarchie (Bana) is an officer of the NYPD who gets hunches when a case is going to be particularly challenging. With his adrenaline-junkie partner (McHale) in tow, Sarchie requests these cases to feed his curiosity.
When a series of cases involving doors (or in some cases The Doors), painters and certifiable insanity appear within a few days of each other, Sarchie begins to see a clean connection. Though the further Sarchie investigates, the less it seems he can protect his family and hold onto his own sanity in the face of a paranormal and religious experience he never expected.
To begin with, Deliver Us From Evil was a very long horror movie with an unsatisfying ending. The length of the movie isn’t what detracts from the quality of the film. It’s the pacing. Most of Deliver Us From Evil is spent building up to the climax then the anticipated climax is over suddenly and ends up not being anywhere near as eventful as one would hope.
Eric Bana is a chameleon. I spent most of Deliver Us From Evil consciously trying to pick his Australian accent. Searching for a glimmer of Poiter, Chopper, or any of the other iconic Aussie characters he has portrayed. I couldn’t find even a hint. There are a lot of Australian actors in Hollywood who could learn a thing or two from Bana, who has excelled in his craft.
Speaking of brilliant acting, Joel McHale. I have only ever seen McHale as the host of The Soup and that is only while channel surfing. He was great to watch in the role of the adrenaline-junkie cop with a penchant for knives. His portrayal was edgy and he seemed to always be moving, even when stationary. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for McHale.
There was a considerable amount of gore but nothing that wasn’t necessary to the plot. Conversely, the entire plot wasn’t wrapped around the idea of making things as gory and disgusting as possible.
Now, the horror. Supernatural horror movies involving demons and demonic possessions are always good for a few sudden frights. Deliver Us From Evil is no exception. I jumped, my adrenaline ran, my heart raced a few times, there were creepy toys. It was good.
Overall though, Deliver Us From Evil doesn’t feel like a horror movie that is going to be memorable or something worth running out and buying on DVD. If you enjoy paranormal-themed horror movies and have the opportunity definitely give it a watch, though. Who knows, something about it may … speak to you.