In a world full of horror movies, Deliver Us From Evil is just another one. Instead of being a simple story of exorcism revolving around a cop, it takes elements from other stories and plays them all like an overzealous poker player. The acting is not particularly notable save for Eric Bana. The other casting is bizarre and makes this movie okay but otherwise forgettable.
Police Sargent Ralph Sarchie, played by Eric Bana, and his partner Butler, played by Joel McHale, are New York Police officers that come across a series of cases that seem to be demonically related. A Castilian priest joins him and together they take on the forces of evil. Soon the forces of evil attack him at this home. Can Officer Sarchie stop this invasive presence before it kills others?
Eric Bana does a fine job giving the movie a certain level of gravitas. The other cast members are not really into their parts. Olivia Munn as Ralph’s wife has two emotions, teary and monotone. The Priest character is sadly really numb in his delivery. There is also the odd choice of casting Joel McHale in a thriller as a somewhat action role. His smartass quips change the tone of the scenes he is in. I do commend him on getting in shape for his role though.
The effects are not bad and the visuals themselves are chilling. As a whole, the movie is just not that scary. There are tons of predictable jump scares and the movie goes through several by-the-book exorcism clichés. The story has a few distracting plot holes- interesting elements that are addressed but never concluded. There is also an odd side story of Sargent Sarchie’s daughter being tormented by the demon that unfortunately goes nowhere.
The movie has all the elements of a possible good movie but the tones are all over the place. If there were major rewrites it could have been great or at the very least entertaining. Instead the movie plays it safe and does not attempt to bring anything interesting to the table. It is not a terrible film but it is certainly a forgettable one.