Take a Drink: every time Joel McHale tries to act tough.
Take a Drink: every time Eric Bana sees something that no one else sees.
Do a Shot: for Olivia Munn’s atrocious New York accent.
Do a Shot: for the awesomeness that is Edgar Ramirez.
By: Frankie B. (Three Beers) –
I love demon possession stories, and they seem to run neck to neck in popularity with zombie movies, right now. The golden standard of possession stories is The Exorcist, followed by The Evil Dead, then followed by the likes of The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Paranormal Activity tried to reinvent the possession genre but it has failed for the most part. Deliver Us from Evil is a partial return to the glory days.
Deliver Us from Evil was written and directed by the new renaissance man of the horror genre, Scott Derrickson. When I heard this, I had pretty high expectations for this movie given the unrelenting creepiness of Sinister. Throw in Eric Bana (the worst of the Hulks), Joel McHale (Community), Olivia Munn (Newsroom FTW), and a little demon possession, and at that point I am totally hooked.
Here we follow the “real life events” of Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana), as he hunts down a killer who may or may not be possessed by a demon. Luckily for Ralph, he is aided by Father Mendoza, a Jesuit Priest who specializes in demonology. Sounds spectacularly generic, doesn’t it?
Is Eric Bana ever bad in a movie? I sure as shit haven’t seen it yet. Same goes for Edgar Ramirez. The two lead actors nailed every scene that they were in. To be perfectly honest, there didn’t really need to be a ton of secondary actors, given that Bana and Ramirez account for 98% of the screen time. Hell, you could have probably eliminated Bana’s character and had a more interesting movie, seeing as we would then have been following a priest who chain smokes, drinks (a lot), and is kind of a lady’s man. Sounds a bit more interesting than following the cop. I have to hand it to Derrickson, in that he infuses even the most mundane scene with a palpable sense of dread, which seemed to be his major contribution to the screenplay.
Did anyone tell Joel McHale and Olivia Munn what type of movie they were signing on to do? I can understand trying to not get typecast, but they were really miscast in their roles. McHale delivers two “funny” lines in the movie and is a non-factor otherwise. His character is like your douchey friend who hangs around all the time and you thank God the moment he leaves the room. As for Olivia Munn, apparently she watched a video of people trying to imitate New York accents, and tried to imitate their shitty imitations. Again, her character was pointless, and she is not a very strong actress.
Don’t worry folks, there was a plot in this movie, somewhere. For all of the original ideas that Derrickson brought to Sinister, he brought the same amount of recycled ideas to Deliver Us from Evil. However, the movie has excellent execution of tired ideas. A cop loses faith, then witnesses something to restore his faith, just like in dozens of movies before. Overly tough partner, check. Cop’s wife is tired of her husband not being home, check. Cop going against procedure to catch the bad guy, check. Derrickson just slapped the demon possession storyline on top of a cop procedural. It is good, but you get nothing new from it.
Deliver Us from Evil is a solid addition to the horror genre, even if it brings nothing new to the table. Bana and Ramirez carry this movie from start to finish. If you are looking for something different from the run of the mill summer blockbuster, you could do worse than this.