Movie executives have often been compared to Satan, the Prince of Darkness. Their peculiar creative decisions have seen many producing teams curse them for their devilish ways. What cannot be denied is their ability to exploit profitable trends. Since ‘The Exorcist’ head-spun its way to box office gold in 1973 anything involving Lucifer’s wicked manifestations has been gleefully put on screen. ‘Deliver Us from Evil’ is the latest with its atmospheric spookiness sure to scare the executive elite all the way to the bank.
New York cop Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) is a lapsed Catholic disillusioned with religion. Attempting to find new purpose his latest case tests his resolve. Meeting Spanish priest Mendoza (Edgar Ramirez), his former faith returns to haunt him. Told a soldier, Santino (Sean Harris), is possessed by the devil, Ralph teams with the priest to eradicate the evil spirit. With New York quickly turning into anarchy due to malevolent forces, time slowly runs out for the duo to combat a power beyond their imagining.
Allegedly based on true events ‘Deliver Us from Evil’ generally captivates. Whilst one can take its true claims with a pinch of salt, the strong performances and story see it through. The authenticity of the relationships between Ralph and his family and his confrontation of past regrets are often more compelling than the ensuing horror. Bana has turned into a fine leading actor and effectively conveys the trauma his character witnesses. Ramirez and the rest of his co-stars equally share the kudos in developing their roles.
Scott Derrickson’s direction is also worthy of attention. Previously helming similar films such as ‘Sinister’, he brings his skills in crafting genuine scares. Derrickson adds much tension to the expected pyrotechnics by allowing the mood to slowly percolate. Even if the script occasionally walks a predictable trajectory, his directorial flourishes make you unsure where the story leads. This hybrid of horror and mystery works and maintains interest until the end.
‘Deliver Us from Evil’ is an effective shocker. Those sinister movie executives have it right this time with Satan’s latest cinematic appearance sure to linger long after his presence has vanished into darkness.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 7
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.
Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.