Deliver Us From Evil - Blu-ray Review

'departs having left no mark whatsoever apart from one or two scares and a memorable scene with a lion'

Endemic of mainstream Horror's current malaise, Deliver Us From Evil is by no means a terrible film, but nor does it have any aspirations to be more than a mediocre one. It tells its hokum-filled exorcism story about cop Sergeant Sarchie (Eric Bana) without aplomb and with no consideration for wider meaning and then departs, having left no mark whatsoever apart from one or two scares and a memorable scene with a lion.

Perhaps of most interest in this tale is the meta narrative between the film-makers and the film's inspiration, real life spook-hunting ex-cop Sarchie. As this The Week article tells, Sarchie's supernatural methods haven't exactly been vetted by... whoever it is that regulates good practice in being a spooky spook. In the Blu-ray extras, Bana talks in uncertain tones about Sarchie and writer/director Scott Derrickson openly discusses the fact that the film hardly follows Sarchie's life at all. In the film, some of this does translate, Bana seeing visions that lead him to question his own sanity and the basis on which his investigation proceeds.

The investigation itself initially seems to have some level of interest in a post traumatic stress angle, the central trio of spooked men having recently returned from Iraq, but in truth Derrickson never gets interested in where that would lead, instead simply using it as a gateway for access to foreign demonology.

Meanwhile, the direction veers between adequate and stagey as the performances do likewise. Édgar Ramírez is hamstrung by the most exposition-laden moments of scripting and puts apparently little effort in to making them seem less so. Joel McHale's backward-cap sporting 'bro' Cop is out of a different film entirely and Olivia Munn is unsurprisingly relegated to a thankless task as Sarchie's wife. Only Sean Harris, of the support, impresses, in a role he is in danger of being fully typecast as.

Derrickson's lensing, meanwhile, picks out shots such as the two cops entering the zoo on either side of a central column; obvious and uninspiring fayre that mirrors the ambition of his film.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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