Deliver Us from Evil (2014)

(On Cable TV, September 2015) I’m not sure there’s anything objectively wrong about Deliver us From Evil, but neither can I say that there’s anything exceptional about it.  While there is some interest in tackling demonic possession as seen from the perspective of a hardened NYPD veteran, the film soon heads for familiar pastures, and doesn’t really get to show anything worthwhile.  Eric Bana does fine work as the cop protagonist, with Olivia Munn and Joel McHale turning in short yet credible dramatic presences, but all of them are overshadowed by Edgar Ramirez’s compelling turn as an unusual priest facing ultimate evil.  Director Scott Derrickson follows-up his much superior Sinister with a decent atmosphere (grimy and dark and realistic and, alas, rather dull), but the script is too derivative to be particularly interesting.  Too long at nearly two hours for the rather slight amount of substance it contains, Deliver Us From Evil ends up being a middle-of-the-road hybrid between police procedural and demonic possession horror, something that works well enough to escape mediocrity, but not enough to leave an impression.

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