This had so much promise. From the director of the highly disturbing film Sinister, Scott Derrickson brings us ‘Deliver Us from Evil’, a trek into a land filled with generic horror movie clichés that will have you laughing and rolling your eyes simultaneously. As I exited the theater with my friend we began to pick this thing apart and realized we hated it even more than we initially thought. There is so much wrong here it’s almost upsetting. The first and most puzzling aspect is Scott Derrickson’s involvement. In the past he has shown his talent in the genre of horror with the aforementioned Sinister and 2005’s The Exorcism of Emily Rose. With this new movie it’s as if he took everything he has learned over the years and threw it out of a window.
The second head scratching facet is Eric Bana’s involvement. What happened here? Did he need a role this badly? He absolutely shines in my personal favorite movie of his, Munich. Here he plays a New York police detective with a strong accent to match. It feels like he was so busy trying to maintain an authentic accent that he forgot the acting part of being an actor. I wish I could say he did the best with what he was given but I can’t; he contributes as much as everyone else in the film’s downfall. The third part that makes you wonder why this was made is the movie itself; script, editing, acting, basically everything in this was subpar as best.
Cliché after cliché make the experience of seeing the movie almost unbearable. It has the typical scenes of characters making the worst decisions that they could possibly make in that moment and it happens in droves. There are at least three separate occasions that the two main police officers of the film separate for no apparent reason. They enter numerous apartments and homes and even zoos without actually clearing the area first which would never happen in real life. Wouldn’t it make sense to clear an area and deem it safe before searching for evidence? Not here. There is the typical role of the priest who just happens to know everything about the situation at hand and has the solution to end it all. Above all this is character development; there isn’t any, at all. These people are partaking in some truly horrific situations and their safety is very much on the line and I couldn’t have cared less. A main character gets killed brutally and I was bored.
One of my favorite scenes in Sinister is the ending; it ends dark and unhappy as a horror movie should. It doesn’t have to end badly but it’s so much better and far more memorable when it does. This cliché fest ends happily in the most unoriginal manner it could have and it’s a frustrating end to an equally unsatisfying movie. I feel cheated after seeing this and genuinely curious about what happened to cause a talented horror director to dump out this dreck. I am really trying to come up with a positive to all this but I can’t think of anything. The only thing I can think of is if not for all the hokey exorcism malarkey this might have been a half decent, dark and gritty cop thriller. But alas, it’s all dragged down into the muck of what makes up this generic, half-assed attempt at something that I must have missed the point to. I was hoping this was going to be The Conjuring of 2014 but it ended up being The Last Exorcism Part 3. I apologize if I used the words generic or cliché too much but those really are the best words to describe this junk. Skip this movie, save your money; doing something fun with your hard earned cash or flush it down the toilet. You’ll get more out of flushing it than you will if you see this movie.
I just want to add a message intended for any filmmakers out there past, present or future: When making a horror/thriller movie, jump scares are not a good alternative to smart script writing. A sudden loud noise causing people to jolt is not an achievement, it’s boring and annoying and way too easy. Be better than jump scares.
Rated R For: bloody violence, grisly images, terror throughout, and language
Run Time: 118 minutes
After Credits Scene: None
Starring: Eric Bana, Joel McHale, Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn
Directed By: Scott Derrickson
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 1/ Acting: 2.5/ Directing: 2.5/ Visuals: 2
OVERALL: 1.5 Nerdskulls
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