HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Deliver Us From Evil
HTS Overall Score:92
I’ve been waiting all month long for a good horror movie to start off my Halloween binge, and thanks to Sony, we have one in form of “Deliver Us From Evil”. Horror has always been run in to the ground, so to speak. Very little new is ever brought to the table, as pretty much everything that CAN be done HAS been done over the years and years of the saturated market. Many times this isn’t a problem, as the fans know what to expect and they love every gory or scary moment of it, even if it isn’t as fresh as a daisy. “Deliver Us From Evil” runs really close to delving in to new territory but also revels in the classic jump scares and gory nightmares of the supernatural horror flick. The film is delightfully creepy and doesn’t succumb to the pressure to make it a PG-13 movie and cater to the teenagers, but instead gleefully douses itself in blood and horrific ambiance to create an actually GOOD supernatural horror outing (for once).
Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) is a New York City cop who’s been hardened by his life in the force. He’s seen everything that can be seen, or so he thinks, and the idea of the supernatural is about as foreign to him as eating live ants or pig’s bladder is to us in the U.S. This resolve and cynicism is about to be tested to its limits when a string of horrific incidents start cropping up around town. First, he witnesses a woman toss a child into the moat of a zoo exhibit, then a painter ends up dead in the basement of another couple across town, accompanied with reports of strange happenings in the houses. Soon it becomes obvious that the cases are tied together, as all the victims have one thing in common. It seems that the victims were all with each other in Iraq, during the war, and came home with something eating at their souls. Putting the pieces together, Sarchie soon finds that there is one man missing from the group, one Santino, who seems to be the epicenter of the problem.
Teaming up with a rather unconventional Jesuit priest by the name of Father Mendoza (Edgar Ramirez), Sarchie soon realizes that he’s in over his head. Always plagued with a sort of sixth sense about events, the New York City cop comes to realize that this ability very well may solve this case and save his own life as the pair delves deeper in to the supernatural causes of the evil spreading around town. This all comes to a head when they actually confront Santino and have to perform one of the most ancient rites known to the Catholic religion in regards to dealing with demons. Either the evil is vanquished through holy exorcism, or their immortal souls will have to deal with their failure and pay the ultimate price.
“Deliver Us From Evil” was inspired by the true life experiences of Ralph Sarchie, which we all know in cinema speak means that there is about a 2% amount of truth left in the story while the movie men go to town with the horror tropes. The story tends to follow your standard procedure for this type of movie, with the characters having an inciting incident at the beginning of the movie, then jumping forward in time to the present where our heroes have to slowly uncover the cause. Sarchie is played convincingly by Eric Bana, having to overcome his natural skepticism in favor of more “unnatural” causes of the evil he’s witnessing. Ramirez as our cigarette smoking priest does an excellent job of playing an unorthodox orthodox minister (say that 3 times fast) and the ending scene with the full blown exorcism is where his performance really shines (as will your subs if you have a capable system).
The movie still has its pitfalls, but they are rather inconsequential. We have the standard jump scares, that are sure to startle people, but are really never truly scary, and the atmospheric horror is nothing new. Now that’s not to say that it is ineffective, as the pitch black night with fox and gloom is a VERY effective at creating that creepy ambiance; it’s just the fact that we’ve seen it before a million times. With those genre flaws being pointed out, I have to say that “Deliver Us From Evil” is extremely refreshing as it doesn’t shy away from being a true R rated horror movie and dances nimbly through the well-trodden path that so many have trod before it. The gore is wonderful, but not overused, the black of night ambiance creates the perfect mood and the actors really get into the roles. Combine that with an actually HAPPY ending (which is rare for a horror movie) and this is definitely my favorite of the horror movies seen so far this October.
Rated R for bloody violence, grisly images, terror throughout, and language
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=30881[/img]Wow! That’s all I can say. I’ve seen plenty of pretty pictures, but the 5/5 ones tend to stick with big name blockbusters and the like, but “Deliver Us From Evil” is one to rival the best of the best. From the get go, you know it’s going to be a very dark movie, but that doesn’t begin to describe it accurately as the movie stays bathed, nay, saturated in blacks from the beginning to the end. I haven’t had a film torture test my JVC’s black levels this much since the release of “Godzilla” a few months ago. Still, even though the movie doesn’t exactly light up like the fourth of July, the detail is exceptional, giving us plenty to look at in the darkness. I didn’t notice any crush or greying out as they literally feel about as silky and inky as you can get. The colors are still there in spades, such as in the Zoo sequence in the first act where you can see bright green leaves, the neon green of Night Vision and the different shades of tan and reddish hues upon the lion’s body. Contrasts are well balanced and skin tones look natural amidst the dim lighting. Simply put, this 2.40:1 AVC encoded image is just about flawless and left my chin firmly planted on the floor.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=30889[/img]There’s only one thing I love more than a perfect image, and that’s a perfect audio score, and perfect is the term that I would have to use with the English DTS-HD MA 5.1 track. As with most horror movies, you get a nice LFE level, but it seems the sound designers just had a ball with this one, as the track just ripples with aggressive energy, infusing deep levels of bass into just about every scene imagining. Whether it be from a lion roaring, or a gate smashing shut with ferocious power, or just the pulsing and throbbing of the creepy soundtrack, LFE just injects itself into every moment of the movie. Not only is the LFE powerful and deep, but it’s incredibly accurate and tight as it never feels boomy or lacking definition. As with the LFE, the surrounds crackle with intense energy, never letting up and creating an incredibly terrifying and immersive environment. Putting you right in the center of the movie the constant activity between mains, surrounds and LFE channel, the audio almost envelopes you in a cocoon of sound. Dynamic range is huge, as one moment you can hear Eric Bana whispering quietly only to have a jump scare throw you about 6 feet in the air and the resulting sonic vibration scaring the snot out of the listener. Again, I can’t reiterate this enough, simply marvelous track that pushes the edge of perfection.
• Audio Commentary
• Illuminating Evil
• Deliver Us From Demons
• The Two Sergeants
• The Demon Detective
The Supernatural thriller/horror flick has been making a comeback of late, and while they are a dime a dozen, there are very few that are actually GOOD. “Deliver Us From Evil” is a definite step up from the trashy ones that have been coming out like “The Last Exorcism Part 2” or “The Devil Inside Me” etc., etc., etc., but it unfortunately will never rival the greats like the original “Omen” or “The Exorcist”. However, I can readily recommend it to horror fans, as it was one of the more entertaining horror flicks this entire year. The audio and video are out of this world, a good audio presentation can make or break a horror film, as the creepy ambiance created by such a good track is priceless. Definitely recommended.
Starring: Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn
Directed By: Scott Derrickson
Written By: Scott Derrickson, Paul Harris Boardman
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish DD 5.1
Runtime: 118 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: October 28th 2014
Buy Deliver Us From Evil Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Watch it
More about Mike