Horror films can be the easiest or the hardest to make. When it comes to filmmakers who choose to make horror films, most take the road most traveled and go with cheap gags to scare you. Then you have the ones who try and blaze a new trail, a trail that will soon have many copycats all trying to do that thing, a great example would be the found footage movies, that seem to be the go to when it comes to horror these days. Scott Derrickson is one who makes his own path, with films like “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” and “Sinister”, Derrickson tries to add his originality to certain stories.
Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) is everything you would think of when you picture a NYPD Detective. To him there is no God or Devil, because there is nothing that he has seen that can’t be attributed to human nature. When Sarchie and his partner get involved in a case involving a mother and her son at the zoo, unexplainable things start to happen as they investigate their case. Being the person that he is Sarchie tries to ignore the impossible and uses logic to explain the things he is hears and sees. His opinion starts to change when he meets a priest named Father Mendoza (Edgar Ramirez) who tells him about the truth in what he is witnessing. Sarchie, who has seen the evil of men, shuts out his wife Jen (Olivia Munn) and his daughter so that they don’t see the darkness that he believes is inside him. When the darkness comes to them, Sarchie must rediscover his faith and protect his family from the evil that hunts them.
“Deliver Us From Evil” is one of those films that is not in a hurry to get to the finish line. It lets everything reach a slow boil, letting you take in little details that are happening around the main action on the screen. This is what made “Sinister” work so well , you had time to think about every little thing you saw unfold before your eyes. But what worked in one location there, doesn’t quite work in this film as well, you do feel the pacing until the conclusion. Where the film fails, is in its story, which is based off a book called “Beware the Night” by Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool. Derrickson and Paul Harris Boardman adapted the book to the screen that has multiple stories of cases that Sarchie encountered as police officer and as a Demonologist. While the film sometimes doesn’t know what its focus should be, Derrickson makes the film good enough that you follow anyway. The film is dark, which gives Bana and his partner plenty of chances to do their best “X-Files” impression and show their skills with a flashlight. “Deliver Us From Evil” is not a great movie, but it is a decent horror movie, one that lets you think about what could happen just as much as what actually does. Derrickson takes a few steps back with this one after “Sinister”, but he still delivers up a conventional horror film.