One can’t make a demon possession film and not have his/her movie compared to The Exorcist. How does Deliver Us From Evil stack up? Like gooey legos left in the sun on a hot summer day—not very well.
Deliver Us From Evil is an A&E true crime story version of The Exorcist. While more entertaining than actually interacting with your crazy Aunt Flo when you’re forced to dinner at her house, it’s only mildly entertaining if you’re out for an evening at the cinema. And at the current prices “mildly entertaining” isn’t worth it.
But it’s based on a “true story.” Ugh.
Because a film was a true story, or based on real events, or whatever bullshit wording, isn’t impressive. It’s just another cheap gimmick like 3D, or smell-o-vision, or “from Academy Award winner…” How about spending your time and efforts on making the story good and not buzz worthy marketing?
More than being based on the real-life cases of Ralph Sarchie, this is the dramatization of The Door’s song, “People Are Strange.” Whoever secured the rights to use the song also decided to use the FUCK out of the song. It worked as an allusion the first time it came up, but then they kept using it, putting it in just loud enough to pick out from the rest of the sound, at inappropriate places (like in the middle of the big exorcism), so much so that it becomes an earworm that will drive you crazy for days to come.
“Faces come out of the rain…” And it’s ALWAYS raining. Aaaaaaaagggggghhhhhh!
And while that’s distracting enough, then there’s Joel McHale. You know, the host from The Soup. I’m not saying he is bad actor. As the smart-ass partner he is great. As a knife fighting bad-ass always looking to get into a scrap… Eh. That’s a stretch. He’s like the chartered accountant who wants to jump right into be a lion tamer. There’s a couple in between steps which are necessary that one needs to take. Unfortunately the casting director of the film was no vocational guidance counsellor and threw him into the den before he was ready.
There is a good suspenseful atmosphere, and some good horror moments, and Édgar Ramírez’s flawed priest is really good, but taken in total Deliver Us From Evil falls short of the bar set by The Exorcist. At best, Deliver Us From Evil should be relegated to watch “if it happens to be the only thing starting” when you’re flipping through the channels. Or if you’re stuck with Aunt Jolene.