Deliver Us From Evil DVD Review

     Actors: Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez
  • Format: Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony
  • DVD Release Date: October 28, 2014
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: December 31, 2017


            There have been far too many exorcism/demonic possession films in recent film history for Deliver Us from Evil to stand out without a twist, which is the blending of a police procedural with the religious horror genre. Add the fact that it was inspired by actual accounts of an NYPD sergeant (another favored element of the genre), and Deliver Us from Evil should have delivered adequate entertainment. Unfortunately, in order for a film to be frightening, you have to be able to see what is going on, and this is easily one of the worst shot horror films I have ever seen.


            Eerily lit scenes are one thing, but nearly every short of Deliver Us from Evil is under-lit and takes away from the experience instead. The cinematography from Scott Kevan is ineffective and ugly, leaving the audience with nothing to do but listen to the bad New York accents during the film’s darker sequences. And even when the film’s action can be seen, there is hardly a moment that doesn’t feel derivative of better movies. 


            The film begins as something of a serial killer detective narrative, though it is clear quite quickly that the culprit is more than human. Supernatural elements creep into the narrative until it becomes a full-blown exorcism movie, with New York police officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) at the center of the struggle. Sarchie begins his investigation of a series of bizarre violent crimes like any other, but this inquiry is thrown a curve ball when he finds that there is a mysterious man at the scene of each crime. Seemingly tied to all of the horrific events, Sarchie realizes that this demonically-driven individual may be the answer to solving the case.


            The police work of making the connection between the victims and the mysterious man is what Sarchie does well, but he is somewhat clueless about what to do once he catches his supposed culprit. This is where the help of a young and hip priest comes in handy. Father Mendoza (Édgar Ramírez) drinks and wears hip clothing, but he also has the ability to help Sarchie cast out the demon and end the evil actions caused by the possession. This relationship feels a bit contrived, but it is nothing in comparison to the predictably cliché scenario set up for Sarchie’s partner (Joel McHale). The only surprises in this film come from the moments where the lighting is too poor to see what is going on.


            The DVD release comes with a commentary track from director Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose), as well as a making-of featurette.


    Entertainment Value: 6.5/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 5/10

    Historical Significance:  4/10

    Special Features: 6/10



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