Review by Zena S. Dixon
In the film Deliver Us From Evil, we follow a tough police sergeant named Ralph Sarchie in New York City, who encounters a series of increasingly creepy events that occur in the Bronx. Ralph used to be a Catholic and due to that he isn’t a believer in the supernatural…yet! Throughout the film Ralph is known for his “radar” which is an ability to sense when something is worth looking into. Since Ralph has his radar, him and his partner Butler decide to take on their precinct’s most disturbing cases. As cases begin to come their way, the two discover that there are some investigations that are completely different yet share an unexplainable connection. These connections are forcing Ralph to accept that the supernatural is real. Along the way, Ralph becomes friends with a mysterious Catholic Priest named Mendoza who claims he has been hunting demons and performing exorcisms for many years. After Ralph struggles to believe what’s happening in the city, the two men team up and attempt to clarify the origin of the disturbing crimes before an ancient evil takes over the city.
To avoid spoilers I will stop right there. Bad things happens to people who reveal spoilers!
A lot of people are not aware that this film is based off of the real-life investigations of Ralph Sarchie, an NYPD officer turned demonologist. He chronicles his investigations and exorcisms in the book “Beware the Night“. The film’s purpose was to serve as an origin story of Ralph Sarchie’s career in demon hunting. I think the film’s angle was to have a balance between paranormal and true crime by delivering an intriguing storyline, interesting characters and eerie horror. I believe it achieved that, however I’m really disappointed that the film wasn’t scary whatsoever.
The director (Scott Derrickson) captivated the viewers by the dark, rainy, grungy city and the supernatural scenes; however Deliver Us From Evil wasn’t scary. It’s really unfortunate that this film wasn’t scary since it has the potential to be. The film has an insanely creepy feel to it and I wanted to be scared and was actually waiting for it. I personally feel that majority of people who viewed this film may view it more as a thriller, perhaps even drama, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Although, I wasn’t moved on the terrifying scale, I was entertained and, because of that, I would definitely watch it again.
The film is filled with mysteries and not the obvious mysteries, so that’s a great thing. My advice to people who would like to watch this film: have patience. Many horror fans are probably looking for a traditional paranormal suspense with jump scares. I believe you will get your jump scares, but perhaps not in the traditional sense. This film doesn’t really have gore and it offers more drama and thrills. Viewers who can appreciate an original story that explores the everyday life of true, personal and supernatural evils will appreciate this film. Overall, I recommend it. You may not find it frightening but I’m pretty sure you will be entertained.
2½ out of 5 queen skulls!