Movie Review: Deliver Us From Evil


Deliver Us From Evil, the newest exorcism film from Scott Derrickson, is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and stars Eric Banal, Edgar Ramirez, Sean Harris, Olivia Munn, and Joel McHale. The movie follows the true events depicted in the book Beware the Night written by NYPD Sgt. Ralphie Sarchie about events that he encountered while working for the NYPD police force. Going into he film I wasn’t aware that it was an exorcism film and I generally try to avoid exorcism films because they tend to be the same clichés and stories over and over.

However, I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

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Deliver Us From Evil follows NYPD Sgt. Ralphie Sarchie, played by Bana, as he runs across a case that sends him into the realm of exorcisms. He is joined by his partner, played by McHale, and they encounter the help of a Jesuit Priest, played by Ramirez. As the clues of possession begin to unravel, Sarchie must find away to not only stop this entity, but save his wife, played by Munn, and daughter as well.

The story isn’t anything new, hard ass cop doesn’t believe in religion, has to forget all he thinks he knows to save the day. This time around it has a little twist that seems to make it work, I don’t know if it is a cop drama with an exorcism twist, or an exorcism film with a cop twist.

But whatever it is, it is very entertaining.

All the characters are well written, and the performances are spot on. Watching the film, I didn’t even realize that Olivia Munn played the Sgt. wife. Seriously, I didn’t notice Olivia Munn. Olivia, Munn. I didn’t notice her, I just saw the character. I was afraid going in, that I wouldn’t be able to get Any Lee’s HULK out of my mind, the only other Eric Banal film I have seen. But again, Banal was hidden behind this tough New York Cop.

It’s not all good though, the film is jam-packed with horror film clichés. Every one in the book is here and in full force: creek noises, scratches under the kids bed, flickering lights, flash lights cutting out at just the right moment and jump scares galore. Jump scares by cats, by creepy bloody people who aren’t there, by dead bodies, by lions (yes, lions), bears (yes, bears too) and dogs.

Let me say something real quick too about jump scares. It is really annoying that directors expect us to believe dogs are completely silent until just that moment that they need jump out scare you and then bark continually. I think that is really becoming one of my biggest pet peeves about horror films.

Scott Derrickson does a great job at showing he is one the premier up and coming horror directors, and if you allow me to geek out for a moment, it was really cool knowing he’s directing this and he will be the director of the upcoming Marvel cinematic universe film Dr. Strange.  The dark feel of the film felt perfect for what a Dr. Strange film should be. It’s also pretty cool that one of the possible, and rumored front runners for Dr. Steven Strange, Edgar Ramirez was in this film. They worked well together and I’m pretty excited for the possibility of what’s to come with these two.

I gave the film a Jeebus score of 4.0, a good time at the theater. It is dark, creepy, well acted, and well-directed. Go forth and see this film!

The Jeebus System explained:

I base films on what I call the Jeebus System, which is a 6 point grade with a possible .5 bonus. With a full 1 point given for entertainment value, story, SFX or cinematography, acting, and casting each, then a half point for direction and dialog each. Titles are given to each score, with “death penalty to all involved” to anything <.9. “You’ll see this on FXx a lot” for <1.9. “Redbox or Netflix it” for <2.9. “Check out the Matinee” for <3.9. “A good time at the theater” for <4.9. “Multiple viewings required” for <5.9. And finally, Jeebus-tacular for 6 or above.