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home : columnists and contributors : columnists and contributors May 24, 2016

7/16/2014 12:01:00 AM
Movie Review: Deliver Us from Evil
Cynthia Morse Zumbaugh

I'm not a fan of horror films, but I usually find myself getting sucked into those involving exorcism. Scott Derrickson, doing double duty here as writer and director, performed those same duties on The Exorcism of Emily Rose, a very effective movie.

I'm not certain I would classify this as a horror film; it is more like a very dark detective/police story. The concept of a priest (Edgar Ramirez) and a police detective (Eric Bana) working together to solve a string of out of the ordinary happenings is not exactly a new one and William Peter Blatty did it better in The Exorcist, but this is a very watchable movie.

This movie is being skewered by the critics but the members of the public that I have spoken to have enjoyed it. I thought that it was quite well done; there are definitely some cover-your-eyes moments and some that had me literally on the edge of the seat, but it is inconsistent and probably not gory enough for those who equate slasher and horror movies.

Ralph Sarchie, Eric Bana's character, was an actual cop in New York City and he wrote the book that this movie is from, basing it on his actual cases. Okay, if that is true, there is reason number 2,112 to NOT live in New York City; Emily O'Neill, we need to talk. Obviously (I hope) this story was embellished, but they do handle the concept of possession deftly.

The acting is good, definitely above average for the genre. I've always been a fan of Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez actually steals scenes from him and Joel McHale has his moments in a little comic relief.

Rated R, this is not for kids. When I say it isn't a complete slasher movie that is not to imply that there aren't plenty of gory and very intense scenes. There is some profanity, not as much as you might expect, and no sex, but it is adult subject matter and there are some scenes that will linger in your mind.

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