Complete A-Z list

Deliver Us from Evil


Stars: Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Chris Coy, Olivia Munn, Lulu Wilson, Sean Harris, Joel McHale

Director: Scott Derrickson

For an hour or so, this is a pretty innovative chiller, a sort of horrorfilm noir, especially since most of it takes place at nighttime and/or in the dark, in an American city where it seems to be perpetually raining.

But it does thereafter go on and on, drifting into seemingly endless chases and torchlit prowls round spooky apartments. And, if there's one bump-in-the-night scene for hero Bana's six-year-old daughter (Wilson), there must be four or five.

Things start well. A patrol of US soldiers in wartorn Iraq is decimated by enemy gunfire, the surviving two stumbling through multiple spiders, snakes and bats to enter a sort of underground tunnel, which opens out into a chamber where they appear to be possessed,

Cut to the present and live-for-the-job cop Bana and his partner (Coy) encounter a seemingly mad woman who throws her baby into a pit at the zoo, presumably entranced by a zombie-like man in an animal compound, who turns out to be one of...guess who.

Meanwhile, Bana has started hearing static and other-worldly noises, before meeting a Jesuit priest with a chequered past (Venezuelan actor Ramirez, with truly annoying hair) who thinks he can help with the case.

It all develops into a tiresomely drawn-out and fairly conventional exorcism drama, with an appropriately noisy conclusion. For a while, though, director Derrickson, before he begins repeating himself too many times, does have us hooked.

David Quinlan

USA 2014. UK Distributor: Sony (Screen Gems). Colour by Colorworks.
118 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 19 Aug 2014