Deliver Us From Evil (DVD review).

January 6, 2015 | By | Reply More

Endless dark nights of torrential rain, flickering lights and torch beams piercing through the gloom and an evil presence lurking in the hallway or the next room. That sums up ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ and, as I was writing this review, my light began to flicker and then go out. Left in darkness, with only the screen for illumination, I looked at the DVD and gulped.


Fortunately, Mr. Tiddles the cat came to my rescue and chased the demon away but the evil, tortured presence that had taken over an American soldier fighting in Iraq after descending into a tomb, was going to be much more difficult to shift. Some people can’t sense evil but one man who can is New York cop Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) who has seen many horrors of a domestic nature in his long service for the city. Along with his partner, Butler (Joel McHale), who is not particularly perceptive to the dark forces, they come across a strange crime where a woman, at the behest of a dark figure in the zoo’s lion cage, throws her baby into the enclosure to his death. Yes, everything is very, very dark!

Strange archaic writing appears everywhere, making Ralph think there is something sinister and evil behind it all. Butler doesn’t think so but he doesn’t see the things his partner sees and, when the renegade priest Ramirez comes into the picture, things begin to get worse. This priest, once a drug addict and philanderer, has reformed himself to some extent but still drinks and smokes excessively. He knows about the dark side of nature and also knows about exorcism!

The story behind the movie is quite simple and doesn’t take long to describe. Sufficient to say, when Ralph sees that the possessed soldier, Santino (Sean Harris), is about to pester his beleaguered wife and daughter, the tension is ramped up even further. The problem is death comes to those who oppose Santino, whose followers are revolting caricatures of evil, crazed and devoid of humanity.

The acting performances throughout are excellent, in particular Bana who portrays a figure on the edge of breaking down, on the precipice of descending into evil himself, especially at the moment when he extracts revenge on one of the followers. Keeping him on the right side is the priest Ramirez, who isn’t exactly straightforward himself. When Ralph’s family are abducted by Santino, it’s expected they will be horribly killed and it’s up to the two of them to find out where they are. Ralph wants to beat the living daylights out of Santino but Ramirez goes by the exorcism route.

The last part of the movie is very absorbing, frightening and even absurd. Harris goes through torture himself in delivering a great feat of acting during the exorcism. By the time the movie finishes, you are left completely washed out, shocked and battered. You’ve been through a mangle backwards. Just to see the effect it had, I gave the movie to a friend to watch but I’m afraid she was scared shitless.

Now, this is supposed to be based on a true story but somehow I just don’t believe that line. In fact, there was an original book about a cop’s strange cases in New York (‘Beware The Night’ by Ralph Sarchie) but this wasn’t in that so why the movie tried to make out it was a real event defeats me. Maybe some poetic licence has been used to upbeat the drama? Whatever the case, it was a successful movie which made a reasonable amount of money and now that it’s available on DVD, I’m sure it will be equally lucrative.

New York is a bit like ‘Babylon 5’ where anything can happen within the bowels of a city or a space station. It takes you to the dark places of the mind, to experiences you want to avoid like the plague and yet, watching them happen on the screen, there is a strange fascination to look if only from a distance. Along with the good acting, all the rest is professionally done. You can’t find any faults with the production, image quality or script. Kim Jong notwithstanding, it’s what you can expect from Sony Pictures and it’s certainly a DVD to recommend.

Rod MacDonald

December 2014

(region 2 dvd: pub: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 1 DVD 118 minute film. Price; £14.00 (UK). ASIN: B00M0GLXIU)

cast: Eric Bana, Joel McHale and Sean Harris,

Subtitles: Hindi, Finnish, Swedish, Italian, Norwegian, Danish, English

Dubbed: Italian

check out website: www.sonypictures.com


Category: Films, Horror

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