Directed by Scott Derickson (Sinister, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose) and inspired by the “actual accounts of an NYPD sergeant” (ahem), Deliver Us From Evil is toplined by Eric Bana as Sarchy, a Bronx cop whose ‘radar’ for trouble is actually a psychic link to the dark underworld of demons. A trio of hard-bitten marines return from Iraq possessed by an ancient evil, causing them to murder their own children or hurl themselves off roofs. It’s up to Bana and his trusty sidekick, blade expert Butler (Joel McHale, who is very clearly Joel McHale in every scene) to send them back to Hell.
Sean Harris stands out as a monstrous marine, imbuing every scene he skulks through with black dread. Unfortunately, there’s not enough of him. Most of the film’s running time is taken up by a misguided bromance between Bana and dashing Jesuit priest Mendoza (Édgar Ramírez) that hinges on hardcore Catholicism and gives the whole film a queasy wash of fundamentalist propaganda.
Sean Harris’ horrific demon-soldier and a climactic gorecaked exorcism scene that cranks up the crazy to 11 are the only bright spots in this rainy, preachy, miscast terror tale.