Movie Review - Deliver Us From Evil
Based on the 'true story' of the life of New York Police Detective Ralph Sarchie, Deliver Us From Evil is a pretty solid piece of film making from a visual perspective. But the script is not substantial enough to carry the almost two-hour running time of the film, and the ending never really gives you the sense of resolution that you hope for. That being said, the movie is perfectly enjoyable, just a bit drawn out. Co-written and directed by Scott Derrickson, the talented pen behind films like Sinister, Hellraiser: Inferno, and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, this film carries the same dark and inauspicious tone as most of his previous outings. And although I wouldn't say I highly recommend this film, it's certainly worth a look if you're a huge horror fan. The film is now available on VOD and DVD.
Ralph Sarchie, a detective with the NYPD, is called out late one night to the local zoo when a crazed woman throws her child into the lion enclosure. While investigating the case further, he becomes involved with a priest who convinces him that there are supernatural forces at work, despite his initial skepticism. And from there he is led into a terrifying world of possession and demonic spirits, that shake his religious beliefs to the core. Finally, left with no other options, he is forced to team up with the priest to fight the evil running rampant throughout a group of Iraq War veterans.
The cast does most of the heavy lifting here, with a star performance from Eric Bana (Munich) as Detective Ralph Sarchie. His intense and unflinching portrayal of a man whose faith is put to the test serves as a solid foundation for the action of the film. Joel McHale (Community) offers some subtle but much needed comic relief in the form of Detective Butler, and Sean Harris (Prometheus) is downright disturbing as possessed soldier, Santino. The only real issue, as I have said, is the length of the film. The plot of the film feels stretched thin, and therefore contains large chunks of time that don't serve to move to plot forward quickly enough, and even come across as a tad boring.
All in all, this is still a fairly enjoyable movie that will probably appeal to people who enjoy the occasional scare, but are not huge fans of the genre. You may find the ending a bit disappointing, as it answers some of the big questions, but neglects to explain the 'Why?' behind them. But frankly, the solid performances of the cast and the visually stunning nature of the film making still make this a worthwhile watch in my book. Cheers.
- Leo Francis