Directed by Scott Derrickson
Starring Eric Bana
Just so you know I NEVER see “Movies like this”….
Not since I was a teenager have I enjoyed the horror genre, and I’ve dodged a few films in the last couple of years that I should have reviewed for Weekend Sunrise – but was too scared. Wolf Creek 2 and The Conjuring – I’m sorry, it’s actually you AND me.
So, with much trepidation, I went along to see this adaptation of NYPD cop Ralph Sarchie’s “Beware the Night” – his collection of crime cases with a supernatural twist.
I’d been reading Ralph’s book in the lead up to the film as I was tasked to interview the key cast and crew in LA, and his tone is pretty dry. Thankfully the screenplay here has been turned into an entertaining crime procedural with a horror touch.
Eric Bana as Sarchie and his partner Butler – Joel McHale are trying to solve a case that has it’s origins in a soldier returning from the Iraq War.
As I haven’t been a horror genre aficionado since my teenage days of Stephen King binges, I couldn’t say if this is up there with the best the genre has to offer.
I must confess that I watched The Shining recently as I wanted to be more familiar with such a classic film, and this film doesn’t have the same menace as Jack Nicholson brings in that film.
What Deliver Us From Evil does deliver, surprisingly, is a lot of laughs. Intentional ones that come about through a solid script and decent chemistry between the leads. The scenes between Bana and McHale play out well as if they were cop partners for real. This levity allows the darker aspects of the film to come out of nowhere and the scare the pants off the audience.
I actually enjoyed the frights because they were over relatively quickly and it was more about the anticipation than the actual fright. The film builds to an epic climax of literally biblical proportions and I’ll leave it at that.
I came away thinking I’d enjoyed, rather than endured a decent Hollywood movie. With Bruckheimer in the credits, don’t be surprised if there’s a sequel or two if it’s a commercial success.
3 & 1/2 stars.