I have a particular fondness for horror movies, supernatural ones especially. I tend to really like many possession based films that most people dismiss or dislike. Films like The Devil Inside, The Rite, The Possession and The Last Exorcism movies were all great for me, but for most of them the masses were not in agreement. That’s alright though, I have always been somewhat of a champion of these types of films. The latest in this vein but this time with a twist is Deliver Us from Evil from director Scott Derrickson who ironically also gave us The Exorcism of Emily Rose and one of the bigger horror hits in recent years, Sinister.
Based on a true story, Deliver Us from Evil is the story of New York Police Officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana). While struggling with his own issues on the force and dealing with what he sees every day on the streets, Sarchie begins investigating a series of strange crimes that all seem to be connected by a supernatural force. Teaming up with a Jesuit Priest (Édgar Ramírez) they seek out the answers to the strange behaviour of three war veterans and their bizarre connections to demonology and possession.
Deliver Us from Evil was a brilliant film that effortlessly combined the hard cop thriller genre with the supernatural possession genre. The mood is heavy and the atmosphere throughout the movie is filled with dread. Bana is excellent as Sarchie, really giving the character a sense of righteousness while carrying the heavy burden of seeing the worst man has to offer every day at his job. In a nice bit of clever casting the addition of Joel McHale as Sarchie’s partner Butler is a priceless addition to the proceedings as well. McHale plays a cop just as badass as Sarchie but with a great comedic flair that keeps the story from getting too dark at times. I hope McHale gets more roles like this after Deliver Us from Evil, he was a really nice surprise. Derrickson is very good at creating worlds built around central characters and the world of Ralph Sarchie is one that is both fascinating and disturbing all at once.
The Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is very nice. The film is very dark but the transfer handles it all well with even the darkest scenes having excellent clarity. And the sound work in this film is well done too with nice atmospheric sound effects flying all over the room frequently. Deliver Us from Evil is an overlooked gem for 2014 and a flick that deserves a chance. Check it out.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.