It used to be that the horrors of the real world marched pretty much in lock step with the horrors being touted by the media — a centuries-old case in point is how the Spanish Inquisition hired professional artists to paint scenes of torture and misery for advertising purposes.
But now reality has far outrun the likes of traditional Christian notions of hell, evil and demonic forces.
Scott Derrickson’s “Deliver Us From Evil” is one more film in the ecclesiastical mishmash of death and darkness. However, as a gothic-horror story it falls on its face. I mean, who’s scared these days by faulty lightbulbs in a basement and sepia-colored piano keys playing by themselves?
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Eric Bana plays real-life NYPD officer (now demonologist) Ralph Sarchie, who wrote “Beware the Night,” a book that details his supposedly authentic experiences with demons. Bana comes across a series of crimes that can only be put down to demonic possession, which means guns aren’t going to work. He enlists the aid of Father Mendoza (Edgar Ramirez) for some old-fashioned exorcism rites.
In this round, the crucifix works. The holy water, not so much — just so you know.