Tuesday, July 8, 2014

[Review] Deliver Us From Evil

Deliver Us From Evil is a strange one. It starts like a police drama, as Ralph (Eric Bana) and his oddly cast partner Joel McHale prowl the South Bronx streets. For a moment, you wouldn't mind if this was an End of Watch situation, but then you remember you came for the supernatural scares. Deliver Us doesn't actually feel like a horror film until a creepy night-vision sequence in a zoo brings about some jumps. It's pretty much the only fresh thing about this film, and I'm not just referring to the various shots of rotting corpses.

In that zoo scene, we get a brief glimpse at a mysterious figure of what looks like a hooded juggalo. Turns out, this suspect belongs to a connected group of "possessed" individuals that are responsible for multiple disturbing crimes throughout the city. Of course, Ralph remains a skeptic--that is, until he teams with a hard-edged priest (Edgar Ramirez). The two make an interesting duo.

The film does deliver a shadow-drenched atmosphere, and the usual jolt scares land successfully (as they should). But the closest it comes to capturing the frightening dread of Sinister, is when the demons begin to invade Ralph's daughter's bedroom. Oh that's right, Ralph has a daughter, and a wife (Olivia Munn) who's expecting, but they don't really have much to do, and Ralph is never home anyway. Otherwise, the film pumps out tons of grotesque and harsh imagery, to put it lightly. It's clear that these demonic people aren't just on bath salts, and they pack enough nasty bites to make Luis Suarez jealous.

A cop thriller and a possession tale might be somewhat of a new blend, but when you take the tropes of each one and combine them, the result is still a sloppy mixture of mediocrity. Deliver Us brings little more than a patchwork of seen-it-all-before scenes. A cop doing his duty, an exorcism running through the motions. 


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