"Deliver us from Evil" is a new exorcism-themed horror shocker by Scott Derrickson, director of "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" and recently "Sinister". It stars Eric Bana as New York street cop Ralph Sarchie who stumbles upon a series of connected cases that make him question his beliefs. He then partners up with Castilian priest Mendoza, portrayed by Édgar Ramirez, to fight an ancient evil.
Personally, I usually find exorcism movies to be rather ridiculous, what with spinning heads, weird voices and vomit all over the floor. Still, I was interested in this one. It is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, which, if nothing else, guarantees good production values. Also, "Sinister" crept me out like few movies did recently and Scott Derrickson is going to follow this movie up with "Doctor Strange", a new Marvel project. This gave me reasonably high hopes for this movie.
The direction by Derrickson is definitely the movies strongest point. The first time we meet our hero he just found a dead baby in a dumpster and Derrickson manages to relate his state of mind within just a few shots. This is a man who knows how to shoot an intense scene. Also, just as we saw in "Sinister", Derrickson has a love for found footage, yet knows exactly how to insert it into his film without overusing it. He seems to be the only filmmaker in the horror genre who refuses to decide between no found footage or completely found footage. Having your main character be the one who actually finds the footage is still a refreshing twist on what has become a mostly played out genre.
Eric Bana gives a credible performance as a man who slowly starts seeing the world in a different light. Bana and McHale work well together as partners, their chemistry almost perfect. The spiritual discussions between him and Édgar Ramirez work just as well. The only weak point is his relationship with his wife, played by Olivia Munn, which just doesn't draw the audience in enough to make us care about their problems. Instead, Munn is ill-served with a role that is quickly reduced to constant nagging. You can understand her, but she's hard to identify with.
The movie has a lot of very strong and scary sequences, although at one point the whole "It's just the cat" cliché is definitely used one or two times too much. Apart from that, Derrickson once again shows that he knows how to film an inventive and tension-filled horror thriller.
If you are a fan of scary movies or just curious about what kind of director Marvel has taken aboard for Doctor Strange, definitely check this one out.