Deliver Us From Evil Review – A Terrifying Thrill Ride

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"Deliver Us From Evil," from Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Screen Gems Pictures, presents a shocking roller coaster ride of terror with unprecedented suspense that plunges deep into the scourge of Manhattan's satanically possessed and degenerate underbelly.

Directed by Scott Derrickson, "Deliver Us From Evil," stars Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn, Joel McHale, Olivia Horton, Chris Coy, Sean Harris and is based on a series of true stories from retired New York Police Detective Sergeant Ralph Sarchie personal notes and files.

"Deliver Us From Evil," opens in Afghanistan on night patrol. The soldiers, like any war, are fighting an unseen enemy. Stopping in a desert oasis for cover they find instead of a resting place, the grove is infested by hoards of spiders, snakes and other pestilence.

Ordered to search out the tunnels, Santino, embodied by Sean Harris, equally evil Jimmy, personified by Chris Coy, a videographer, head deep into the underground afghan passage ways, much like Pol Pot, they find a river bed of skulls, disturbing something Jimmy is overtaken as millions of screeching, squealing rabid bats, fly through the tunnels as the Santino moves forward to discover a Persian hieroglyphic.

"Deliver Us From Evil," moves immediately to the South Bronx and a different type of war. The director uses the needle in a haystack shot panning the maze that is Manhattan, with one chance in a million of catching evil.

One this night, Sarchie, played by Eric Bana, and his partner Butler, played by Joel McHale, are attempting to resuscitate a baby tossed in the garbage. The baby dies. The next dispatch, a domestic disturbance, Sarchie feels what his partner labels, "radar" the two head off to the home of ex-marine, Jimmy, a domestic violence call, the wife refuses to look at the two officers. When asked we see a bloody mess as her husband has pummeled her.  

Following this seemingly unrelated incident the detectives are called to the Bronx Zoo to hunt through the darkened facility to find the mother, Jane, portrayed by Olivia Horton, who tossed her child in a moat surrounding the lion's den. During the search they have an encounter with a hooded man who appears prepared for gothic battle.

Director Derrickson, sets up these seemingly unrelated disturbing crimes in succession each building a level of suspense as the detectives move incrementally closer to discovering the connection which builds breadcrumb by breadcrumb, a similar look, appearance, pattern of words, song, a hunch, gut feeling, radar.

"Deliver Us From Evil," has intense satanic elements and introductions. This type of evil is more than simply a mental case, treatable with traditional methods and medicine. The resident evil that lives within these men and those who for some reason are easily susceptible is defined as "primary evil" that which is inhabited by those who welcome, even in jest, Satanic presence through occult or dabbling in mysticism; a parasite, an messenger of Satan, who finds a home.

And "secondary evil" as Sarchie explains, "I haven't seen anything I can't attribute to human nature. To which Mendoza, the Jesuit priest, played by Edgar Ramirez, replies "Then you haven't seen primary evil."

This introduces the spiritual element setting up the ultimate battle of good versus evil a cataclysmic war, which like every war, leaves casualty. This war is no different.

"Deliver Us From Evil," is frighteningly terrific. It would be better if it were simply the imagination of great screenwriter. As it is it becomes a warning of the evil that lurks behind the façade. Evil in our film is defined even by dress, which make the bad guys easier to spot. In life, however, not so easy.

I must say I'm obsessed with "Deliver Us From Evil," after viewing the film, I've watched the trailers, featurettes, anything I could get my hands on. As entertainment, the film is disturbing, chilling and packs in the 118 minute running time enough fright to last even the highly tolerant fright freaks for a while. As a crafted film, each scene delivers with precision.

The actors are on point, given over to their characters which really ups the game, especially when only a handful of characters are seen without deeply altering make-up which presents them as beaten, battered, grotesquely evil and allows them follow the depth of depravity of the character releasing themselves from additional appearance obstacles and becoming these animalistic recreations in human form.

"Deliver Us From Evil," is filled full of heightened suspense, fright, scary set up's that make you laugh at yourself for being so silly and then bam! Hit with the terror whammy! "Deliver Us From Evil" has it all fear, terror, anxiety, Hannibal in a dress, foreboding, panic and yes on the flip side the NYPD, who risk their lives every day, are seen as dedicated, committed to the job, courageous and brave.

"Deliver Us From Evil," is horror and depending on your tolerance and honestly mine is low. There are no gratuitous or extraneous personifications. It is a thriller, with deep satanic violence, most of which has at some time or another been seen in headlines or sound bites somewhere.

"Deliver Us From Evil" is playing in select cities. See this film.

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