'Deliver Us From Evil'
A; Horror/ Thriller
Director: Scott Derrickson
Cast: Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez
A few years ago, director Scott Derrickson stormed to the scene with 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' – the film took elements of the exorcism horror genre and put a modern spin to it. Not to mention that it was one hell of a scary movie, and shockingly, well acted and directed too, two traits which are rare in horror films. He repeated the magic in the Ethan Hawke movie, 'Sinister', which put a new spin on the haunted house tropes.
It would only seem logical that he'd make another decent movie with cops and demons. Unfortunately, 'Deliver Us from Evil' fails in every department that Derrickson is good at. It's badly directed, clichéd, comprises of less than stellar acting, and to put a nail in the coffin, not scary at all.
The film follows police detective Sarchie (Eric Bana) who follows a murder case handed by a priest (Edgar Ramirez) who thinks some demonic activity may be involved. As is the norm with most horror movies nowadays, the film presents itself as ‘based on true stories’ to satisfy the marketing honchos of the studio. Needless to say, it doesn’t work the least bit. As Sarchie goes deeper into the case, the more clichéd and generic the scares become. And thanks to a long and slow buildup, you expect at least a decent showdown with the demon in the finale, but all you get is a mashup between a bunch of exorcism movies.
Despite Bana and Ramirez in the leads, the acting is mostly terrible, and that goes for the demons as well. Seldom do you notice the supernatural entities rendering bad performances in horror movies, and it seems like Derrickson is playing a joke on us. Every time some demonic activity happens one can’t help but groan at the silliness of it all because the scares are predictable and in your face. The one thing that the film does get right is the atmosphere and cinematographer Scott Kevan deserves credit for the same. The only fun bits in the film are when it tricks you that there is something sinister at the end of a dark scene, but sadly it’s just a series of false promises all the way.