Priests, possessions, exorcisms. We have seen this over and over and over and over again in the 40 + years since the release of The Exorcist. The bodice has been ripped and raped in nearly every conceivable way from direct knock offs from foreign lands to blaxplotation to direct sequels to....you get the picture. While many of these movies fall flat, there are a few that rise above the burning holy water such as this movie.
Directed by Scott Derrickson, Deliver Us From Evil is based on the novel Beware The Night written by former NYPD policeman Ralph Sarchie whom this movie is centered around. Portrayed as a man who has both lost his faith and losing his marriage, Ralph begins to investigate a series of heinous crimes involving domestic abuse and child murder in which the perpetrators sound as though possessed by demonic entities.
No, not McBain's protagonist but a priest who eschews the color for dress jackets and cigarettes and booze. He decides to help Sarchie recover his faith as he tries to put a stop to the chaos surrounding his personal and professional life. Despite being funded by Jerry Bruckheimer, Deliver Us From Evil is actually a pretty decent entry into the demonic possession subgenre. It is very disturbing in parts(particularly with one animal scene that feels right at home with Cannibal Holocaust) which given the banality of many recent horror films is a good thing. The hidden strength in this movie lies in Ralph Sarchie's character development. We find out what is making him tick. Though cliche, it does work. I felt the subplot involving Sarchie and his decaying marriage, too, was straight from the cop movie idea pool but it doesn't effect the quality of the movie very much.
Its critical drubbing and low box-office returns mean you'll probably have to wait for streaming, Netflix, or Redbox release but it is worth the wait.