WARNING: Though not labeled red band, this trailer involves violence so graphic it is NSFW.
"Every culture, every religion has practiced exorcism."
There is something especially sinister about the possession subgenre of horror. Many of these, like The Conjuring, The Exorcism of Emily Rose and The Exorcist, have been inspired by real accounts of demonic terror. Following in this frightening tradition is Deliver Us From Evil, a Sony Pictures release that follows one cop's investigation into a terrifying trail of evil. You can see how Sony is selling this pic overseas thanks to this newly unveiled international trailer.
Deliver Us From Evil is based on the book Beware The Night: The Terrifying True Story of Demonic Possession and Exorcism In A City Under Diabolical Siege. With the help of established non-fiction writer Lisa Collier Cool, New York Police officer Ralph Sarchie detailed his encounters with primal evil. In its movie adaptation, Eric Bana stars as Sarchie, who starts off as a skeptical and hard-nosed investigator who must confront the possibilities that demons are among us. Joining him in his quest to overcome evil is an unconventional priest (Edgar Ramireze), trained in the rites of exorcism.
It's a promising premise with a strong pair of leading men. Adding some horror cachet behind the scenes, is co-writer Paul Harris Boardman and co-writer/director Scott Derrickson, who previously collaborated on the hit Exorcism of Emily Rose. Since then, the pair penned the screenplay for the upcoming Atom Egoyan docudrama Devil's Knot, and Derrickson went on to co-write and helm the Ethan Hawke-fronted thriller Sinister, a $3 million movie that went on to earn more than $77 million worldwide.
Staying true to Derrickson's grounded horror aesthetic, Deliver Us From Evil seems off to a solid start, but this trailer is a bit weak. For one thing the awkward New York accents Aussie Bana and his onscreen wife Olivia Munn use are cringe inducing. But worse, this trailer just feels overstuffed. There are lots of creepy elements, lots of ominous dialogue, and several jump scares. But so jammed in like this, these aspects don't have a chance to really sink in and creep us out.
Personally, I prefer its first teaser, which you can revisit below. Instead of a barrage of graphic violence and weird moments, it carefully builds a creepy tone by sticking with Sarchie's child and her haunted playthings. This kind of tension building is how you land a jump scare.
Deliver Us From Evil will hit theaters in the US on July 2nd.