If you’re looking for solid commercial horror movie look no further than Deliver Us From Evil. Written and directed by Scott Derrickson, it resembles some of his past movies like The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister. This means you can expect a creepy atmosphere and a lot of jump-scares. Yes, this is one of those movies and there’s nothing wrong with that. With a budget of $30 million, everything looks and feels good. The locations we will be visiting have that nasty vibe about them like you should run away immediately.
I also think we should have stayed in Iraq more to counter the moody NY setting. Something that was put to good use in Exorcist: The Beginning. In case you’re wondering those scenes were filmed at the Liwa Oasis desert in Abu Dhabi. Deliver Us from Evil is loosely based on the novel Beware the Night, dealing mostly with exorcisms. Derrickson used some of the stories that ex-cop Ralph Sarchie wrote as an inspiration for his original script. So, it’s best to leave it at that.
As I understand it, the book isn’t that good and you would be better off reading The Demonologist by Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Conjuring franchise, The Haunting in Connecticut, and The Amityville Horror are all based on their investigations. And if you’re looking for something to watch after Deliver Us From Evil, all of these movies are good choices.
Diyala Province of Iraq, and three marines and a bunch of bad guys are engaged in a firefight. During it, they accidentally discover an underground cavern with a strange and eerie vibe. Fast-forward three years later and Ralph Sarchie is just a regular New York police officer working the night shift. While struggling with some personal issues, he stumbles on something that will change his life completely…
Deliver Us from Evil feels like a mixture of Se7en and a random exorcism movie. It excels at generating suspense but ultimately fails to be authentic. I mean, if I see one more movie with dolls moving or a music box playing by itself, I’m gonna possess someone. Moreover, I think that the literary element was a problem and not an advantage. On the other hand, we all know this is not that type of movie. It’s here to generate some mystery, scares and keep you engaged for almost two hours. And does so, so there’s no point in arguing about these small details.
The cast was excellent, let by almighty Eric Bana and Edgar Ramírez. Their committed performances helped with the immersion. And the supporting cast is also pretty solid, with a lot of familiar faces. Plus you get the opportunity to see Joel McHale display some of his fighting skills. He spent months training martial arts and perfecting his knife skills.
The whole vibe of this movie reminded me of all those eighties serial killer movies set in New York. I wanna say Fear City, but the religious imagery screams End of Days. Which is a good thing, of course. If you’re looking for something similar, I have to recommend you a fucked up Turkish horror Baskin. It also features a group of policemen stumbling onto something in the middle of the night. And if you’re up for more mediocre exorcism movies, check out The Rite starring Anthony Hopkins.
Director: Scott Derrickson
Writer: Scott Derrickson, Paul Harris Boardman, Ralph Sarchie, Lisa Collier Cool
Cast: Eric Bana, Édgar Ramírez, Olivia Munn, Sean Harris, Joel McHale, Olivia Horton
Fun Facts: The Latin writing on the wall, “Invocamus te vi ingrediaris ab inferis” means “We call upon you with force to enter from hell”.