Deliver Us From Evil (2014) Netflix
Tagline: You Haven't Seen True Evil. Ironically, if you'd accidentally watched the 2006 documentary, also called Deliver Us from Evil, you will have done. Or if you'd seen Donald Trump naked. More on those in a second.
Premise: A cop chases down mysterious leads which seem to be linked to possessions and a sinister presence. It almost exclusively happens in the dark, because nothing is scary with the lights on, except for Donald Trump's naked torso. Like an orange and a button mushroom, I imagine.
Delivery: This supernatural horror is not to be confused with the 2006 documentary Deliver Us From Evil, about paedophile Catholic priest Oliver O'Grady's continuing sexual assaults on children. Very different vibe that one. Although, to be fair, both involve a malicious religious presence trying to harm children. The documentary is, for obvious reasons, an extremely difficult watch, but I strongly suggest you watch that and Spotlight in the same evening, and book the following day off work to stew on how awful the world can be.
Deliver Us From Evil (2014, the one I'm supposed to be reviewing) claims to be a dramatised account of real events, which I strongly suspect they've made almost all of up. It's based on real events like my last nightmare was based on my fear of escalators. Escalators are real, but every staircase in the world didn't turn into one going at 400 miles per hour, shredding my shins as I desperately tried to navigate a building with so many staircases it looked like a fucking Escher drawing. That bit was all made up, just like 90% of the story in Deliver Us From Evil.
Starring Eric Bana, who I like, and Sean Harris, who I absolutely love, and directed by Scott Derrickson Deliver Us From Evil isn't lacking for talent. Derrickson's previous form includes the rather creepy Sinister and Dr Strange, which I refuse to watch as I have crossed my one Marvel film per year tolerance threshold (Thor: Ragnarok, as you ask). Deliver Us From Evil is atmospheric and builds towards the creepy stuff from what is initially a dark cop thriller. Comparisons to Seven in terms of style would be fair I think, although there is a more religious, supernatural theme
While it feels a little slow in getting going, the tension in Deliver Us From Evil is ratcheted up inch by inch as the mystery around what is happening slowly falls away. Frankly, it's pretty obvious what is going on right from the very start, but it was still fun to find out the exact nature of this “evil”. There are a few nice shocks and it is always fun watching Sean Harris play a nut job. He's excellent at it.
Bedsit it? It is a lot better than I was expecting it to be, I must say. I made my notes a few weeks ago when I watched it and now I'm thinking perhaps an eight was a little too high a mark, but I'll stick with it and perhaps it'll readjust over time. I was clearly off my tits on exorcism adrenaline. 8/10