Film: Deliver Us From Evil
Cast: Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn
Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Duration: 2 hrs 1 min
Rating: * *
Deliver Us From Evil is one of those crime, horror, thriller, films that start off on an absolutely riveting note but ends on a very typical fashion. The priest mumbling some Latin mumbo-jumbo and exorcising the devil is something we have seen way too often and we could easily do without that.
Based on the experiences of a NYPD cop and directed by Scott Derrickson, this is like a slightly sophisticated version of a Vikram Bhatt horror film. And like Bollywood films, it is also an apologist for religious superstitions. For instance the film claims it is inspired by true incidents yet there is also a caveat saying that ‘Any similarity to a person is coincidental and unintentional.” I guess they put it there just in case Satan makes a real life appearance someday and files and affidavit stating his identity.
Derrickson had done a better job with the Exorcism of Emily Rose but this time around the script has let him down, bigtime.
The film opens in Iraq where the U.S marines encounter something strange in cave and after they see something written in Persian and Latin they all go bonkers. Once back in the U.S. after that incident, the devil takes over them and they do strange things including over powering a woman’s senses to the extent that she throws her baby in a moat.
Eric Bana plays Ralph Sarchie an NYPD sergeant investigating the case and though he is not doesn’t believe in the paranormal or demonic possessions; sadly he has a change of heart at the end. A priest (Edgar Ramirez) performs a never ending exorcism in the police station. There are 6 stages of exorcism the priest says as if he were talking about lab experiment.
Anyone, including the devil would quit after listening to the persuasive Latin phrases. In the end during the priest asks Sarchie “Do you renounce Satan and all his works?” to which the cop replies, “I renounce all evil.” I sincerely hope that was not an indication of a sequel.
In great deal happens in the opening 30 odd minutes and the writing on the wall starts becoming clear that this will end in a boom or a bust. The only intriguing factor was the reference to the songs of the The Doors and some are also used in the soundtrack. Considering Jerry Bruckheimer is one of the producers, they should have gone all out to make a straightforward scare-fare instead of burdening us with American soldiers who get possessed in Iraq. All that claptrap pretty much left me in desperate need to be exorcised.
If you want to watch a really scary film, check out the 2006 Oscar nominated documentary film of the same name. It is more shocking than all the horror films you have ever seen and sadly, it is actually based on true events.
Published in The Navhind Times on 28th Sept. 2014