Writer/director Scott Derrickson is back in the game with another horror film, but unfortunately, it doesn't stack up next to his previous successful efforts.
Based on a true story, Deliver Us from Evil tells the account of a NYPD police officer who investigates crimes that at first seem ordinary but begin to display evil on a deeper level. Joining in the fight is a very nontraditional Jesuit Priest who is familiar with the evil doings of demonic spirits and possessions.
Set in a dreary and wet New York City, where almost every scene took place on a rainy evening, Deliver Us from Evil contains all of the clichés in the horror outline book. From playing the creepy “Pop Goes the Weasel” song during a “scary” moment, to the talking stuffed animals, this film started off slow and continued at that same pace. It was clear it relied on its musical score and sound effects, rather than a strong plot, to entice thrills.
However, the film does star a sexy and attractive cast. Eric Bana is Sergeant Ralph Sarchie, who lives in the Bronx with his wife Jen (Olivia Munn) and 6-year-old daughter Christina. Sarchie seems to possess an ability to detect when things are awry. His partner, Butler (Joel McHale), calls it his “special” radar.
There’s no doubt Bana is an accomplished actor; however, he wasn't as convincing as he normally is with this role. Instead of accurately portraying someone from the Bronx, he had a “BAH-ston” accent throughout the entire film. That left audiences confused, and I wanted an explanation (but I guess we can just blame that on the dialect coach).
Meanwhile, McHale, in his first role as a strong badass with perfect comedic timing, was believable. He left behind his “Talk Soup” image for a few hours and was about the only entertaining thing in the entire film.
With such potential, it was unfortunate that Deliver Us from Evil never picked up the pace to achieve a real outcome. Its hokey thrills have been seen time and time again in other horror films. Derrickson has a few good films under his belt, such as Sinister and The Haunting of Emily Rose, but this one just fell flat.
I love a good horror film like the next movie buff, and I’m always looking for something new and inventive. Deliver Us from Evil isn't that; it's for the person who's thinking of dipping their toes into the horror genre, but doesn’t really want to get scared.
Deliver Us from Evil is currently in theaters.