At the beginning of Deliver Us From Evil, we’re told that the film is ‘inspired from the actual accounts of NYPD Sergeant Ralph Sarchie’. Basically this means that everything we’re about to see is a complete work of fiction, therefore rendering this statement completely pointless and nothing more than a marketing ploy. It seems to be standard for all horror films these days.
Aside from this minor (and extremely nitpick-y) gripe, I actually enjoyed Deliver Us From Evil a lot.
The story sees NYPD’s special-ops agent Sergeant Ralph Sarchie team up with a priest to solve a series of linked and seemingly demonic crimes, and I love the idea. It has series written all over it, and whether on television or the big screen, this is one of the rare occasions where I’d actually be up for further adventures with these characters.
The film’s main asset is its blend of multiple genres. As much a thriller as at is a horror, it would play just as well without the many scares it has to offer. Set pieces and action sequences replace the usual scenes of people being dragged or thrown across rooms by unseen forces, and the film is all the better for it.
Director Scott Derrickson and cinematographer Scott Kevan add a great deal of atmosphere in the way this is shot, and its strong visual styling made an impression on me. Think Fincher’s Se7en (although not quite as good) and you should get a strong sense of the overall look of the film.
Deliver Us From Evil is by no means a modern day classic and if you look too closely it’s laughably absurd. The dialogue is clunky at times as well, made all the worse by the occasional dodgy performance. This doesn’t hinder the film too much though, and on a whole it’s chilling, thrilling and packs a bigger punch than other recent mainstream horrors.
Image credit to http://www.impawards.com