Though he had a major stone-faced misstep with 2008’s remake The Day the Earth Stood Still, director Scott Derrickson proved his horror potential with 2005’s The Exorcism of Emily Rose and 2012’s Sinister, both of which took overused plotlines and gave them a wicked edge. The filmmaker is headed back to possession thrillers with Deliver Us from Evil, which just premiered not just one but two brand new trailers, and each one looks exceedingly different from the other. But they both look pretty good.
Let’s lay out the plot, which is based on the 2001 true crime novel Beware the Night, before delving into these previews. Eric Bana plays pragmatic NYPD officer Ralph Sarchie, who reluctantly teams up with a priest (Édgar Ramírez) familiar in the world of exorcisms in order to figure out a way to stop the random possessions that are happening all over the city. We don’t often see cops enter the supernatural spectrum, so that’ll be a welcome change, and Bana’s dramatic chops should make this more believable than the average film of this sort.
The domestic trailer, seen above, indeed makes this out to be a thriller whose victim is an entire city. From the outdoor shots to Sarchie referring to "human naycha," we know we’re in New York, and we know that something truly dangerous is afoot. While he’s obviously interesting in taking down demons, Sarchie also has a family he cares about: his wife (Olivia Munn) and his daughter Christina (Lulu Wilson). In fact, this trailer makes it look like Sarchie’s home and daughter’s room will play an important part in the story, as Christina’s toys are particularly suited to being played with by ghosts.
Much like Sinister, this is a quietly haunting trailer that doesn’t feel the need to deliver rapid-fire scares or a pounding score to prove effective. It just silently dangles its tension out there, and it got me feeling a little uneasy by the time Sarchie sees the scarred up face in the mirror.
On the flip side of things is the official U.K. trailer, courtesy of Bleeding Cool, which is a far more flashy and effects-heavy promo. Barely bothering with the setting or Sarchie’s family dynamic, this trailer pits the two leads against one gnarly-looking Sean Harris, who has all kinds of words and images carved into his body. Beneath a recitation of the Our Father, we see all kinds of things, including pale corpses, a body falling onto a car, a woman trying to dig her way out of something, and lots of flickering light bulbs. Check it out below.
Make a sign of the cross and find Deliver Us from Evil in theaters on July 2.