Horror is a genre I love and am very passionate about. I get a kick out of a good scare, and love nothing more than sharing that fear with fellow viewers. Unfortunately for us fear fans, horror isn’t a genre you see frequently sharing the mainstream spotlight on a blockbuster scale, like the latest Marvel film or Will Ferrell comedy. However the newly released Deliver Us from Evil has the potential to change all of that.
Deliver Us From Evil is based on the book Beware the Night by Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool, which details the “real life” events of NYPD Sergeant Sarchie and his involvement with demon-related crimes. Starring Eric Bana as Sarchie, and Joel McHale as his partner, Butler. It starts when they are called out to a typical case of domestic violence, followed by a case in which a mad woman is attempting to murder her two year old son. Sarchie is convinced that there is nothing else to it and that she is a ‘nut job’, but strange coincidences and events begin to occur within the case, and Sarchie’s head.
This is where we meet Mendoza, a Castilian Priest, played by Édgar Ramírez, who is a guardian of sorts to Jane and recognises she is possessed. Although Sarchie was raised Catholic, he “outgrew” the religion, and is therefore unconvinced by Mendoza’s demonic claims. However, he begins to see and hear things that no one else can, and it is clear that these two cases are connected after the two partners attend a call out to a house that the inhabitants say is haunted. Down in the basement a body is discovered. The victim is where all these cases link, and Sarchie begins to believe. He meets with Mendoza who finally convinces him that demons do exist and that he has performed actual exorcisms. This is a great scene to watch because of the awesome on-screen chemistry between Bana and Ramírez; the two actors work wonderfully together, creating a real and believable dynamic between their characters.
The film manages to deliver, no pun intended, a nice split between Sarchie’s home life and work life. While the plot is obviously driven by the supernatural case he is working on, it inevitably causes tension for his family at home, due to underlying issues Sarchie has faced in the past. He tries to separate these two lives he leads, but it still causes a rift between him and his wife and young daughter, and eventually the demons that haunt his case start to follow him home. Make-up and special effects are used effectively, adding to the film’s darkness. The scares are your run of the mill jumpers, some you see coming others you don’t (be wary of when Sarchie is watching the surveillance footage, that got me good), yet you will jump without fail every time. Sarchie’s daughter has a jack in the box that plays the tune of Pop Goes the Weasel, which I found more amusing than scary because it is such a horror cliché. Though it wasn’t overly tacky it does create some suspense, which really excites the horror buff in me because I enjoy a good scare.
The climax of the film kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time as it was very intense. As predictable as these kinds of films are, I was so caught up in what was going on that I wasn’t sure how it was all going to end. All in all Deliver is an effective horror movie – it’s dark, twisted, and slightly gruesome. Another chilling ‘true story’ to add to the genre, and one I will definitely watch again.