Based on the real-life accounts of former New York Cop Ralph Sarchie, ??Deliver Us from Evil?? makes you wonder if this craziness actually happened, or some retired cop figured he??d make some bucks off of hyping up something similar that actually happened. I have no opinion on this, but I do have an opinion on the movie that delivered a mixed bag of intrigue, shocks, gore and monotony.
From the early going the movie has you on the edge of your seat. The intrigue is well done and the two cops on the beat type storytelling is always a draw for me. Sarchie (Eric Bana) and his partner McHale are tying the events of multiple cases together to track down a bizarre and complicated criminal. The things they find are gruesome and the evidence they find string you the viewer along as a third-person very capably.
Unfortunately the events leading up to the culmination are the most interesting part of the film. Not that the culmination wasn??t interesting or fulfilling, but at one point, what was a relentlessly entertaining and intriguing movie dropped off into a form of monotony. It was like being in a racing car for about fifty minutes and then veering off into 40mph traffic for thirty minutes. The monotonous moments in the film should have been spread out over the length of the movie, but instead they chose to do it all at once and then deliver their grand finale.
After viewing ??Deliver us From Evil??, I couldn??t help thinking that we??ve been here before numerous times. With it being based upon real-life accounts, maybe that was unavoidable, but the ??Se7en?? meets ??The Exorcist?? premise hung there like a ghost and both of those were better films; much better films. Maybe even the finale would have been more interesting had we not already seen it dozens of times in other films. The only director to ever make an exorcism on film different than everybody else was Tim Burton in ??Beetlejuice??.
??Deliver us from Evil?? is a passable film with talented people in front of and behind the camera, but it just needed to find a way to transfuse that edge of the seat delivery from the beginning of the film into the second half.