Cops and Demons (Deliver Us From Evil, 2014)
Opening in Iraq, some soldiers discover a strange cave. Inside they encounter something unnatural. The film then picks up with Ralph Sarchie a few years later. He is giving mouth to mouth to what is revealed to be an infant…unsuccessfully.
Sarchie is a man dealing with facing a very dark world that has tested his faith and left him feeling hopeless and empty. His partner (Community’s Joel McHale) takes a lighter view of life and his wife would like him to open up and be a part of their life.
When Sarchie find himself facing a set of crimes with seemingly impossible to explain aspects, he gets connected to Father Mendoza. The Priest is familiar with one of their suspects, Jane. He becomes Sarchie’s educator in the spiritual world.
Like the Conjuring films, Deliver Us From Evil is based on the stories of a real guy. Ralph Sarchie is now retired, but became a Catholic Demonologist. Not unlike Ed and Lorraine Warren, it is pretty hard not to believe that their stories are a bit…exaggerated. And I have no doubt that Derrickson and screenwriter Paul Harris Boardman take liberties.
Sean Harris makes for a freaky victim of possession and I am a fan of Eric Bana who gives Sarchie a rough and weary edge.McHale brings some comedy, but he also proves himself capable in the drama. Olivia Munn does not get a ton to do, but she has a nice scene with Bana where he pours out his sense of futility about the world…sharing all the thinks he has kept bottle up inside to protect her.
Yeah, the films finale gets a little crazy, but Derrickson knows what he is aiming for (a horror movie with a tale of redemption) and mostly hits the mark with a dramatic and entertaining film.