Deliver Us from Evil (2014 film)

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Deliver Us from Evil
Theatrical release poster
Directed byScott Derrickson
Screenplay byScott Derrickson
Paul Harris Boardman
Based onBeware the Night
by Ralph Sarchie
Lisa Collier Cool
Produced byJerry Bruckheimer
StarringEric Bana
Édgar Ramírez
Olivia Munn
Sean Harris
Joel McHale
CinematographyScott Kevan
Edited byJason Hellmann
Music byChristopher Young
Distributed byScreen Gems[1]
Release date
  • July 2, 2014 (2014-07-02)
Running time
118 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$30 million[3]
Box office$87.9 million[3]

Deliver Us from Evil is a 2014 American supernatural horror film directed by Scott Derrickson and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.[4] The film claims to be based on a 2001 non-fiction book entitled Beware the Night by Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool, and its marketing campaign highlighted that it was "inspired by actual accounts", however the plot is an original piece written by director Derrickson. The film stars Eric Bana, Édgar Ramírez, Sean Harris, Olivia Munn, and Joel McHale in the main roles and was released on July 2, 2014.[5] The film grossed $87.9 million against a $30 million budget.


In Iraq in 2010, a four-man Marine team is closing in on a firefight across an open desert area. One of the Marines takes a round to the head. The other three close in on the firefight. They apply suppressive fire and move in on the threat towards a tree line. Night has fallen as they move through the trees. One Marine shoots off a flare. The team notices several nocturnal species and observes possible hostile forces running ahead of them. They quickly pursue and one Marine throws out a grenade, rendering the hostiles injured. One hostile gets up and is quickly neutralized by a Marine. As they assess the situation, one Marine turns on a flashlight and finds an open stairwell into the ground. One pulls security and two descend. PFC J. Tratner activates a bodycam as they investigate. As they make to the bottom of the stairs, they notice a foul smell. They seem to have found some sort of room, and their lights as well as the bodycam go dark. Screaming ensues.

In The Bronx in 2013, veteran NYPD Special Operations Sergeant Ralph Sarchie and his partner Butler patrol the 46th Precinct. A domestic disturbance call comes in over the radio. Sarchie finds out that the male at the address is a former Marine. At the site of the complaint, Sarchie and Butler encounter the former Marine, Jimmy Tratner, whose wife has been badly beaten. They also notice deep scratches on the floor. Tratner flees. Sarchie catches up and makes the arrest. The officers assume that Jimmy is mentally ill or high on drugs.

Sarchie and Butler are called to the Bronx Zoo after a woman has thrown her toddler into the moat surrounding the lion enclosure. They find the woman in the lemur pen. She is furiously scraping at the ground and rapidly recites the lyrics to "Break On Through (To the Other Side)". Sarchie notices a commercial painter inside the lion enclosure. He enters to interrogate the man, but is attacked by the lions and barely escapes.

When the deranged woman, Jane Crenna, is transferred to a mental health facility, a Jesuit priest, Mendoza, arrives at the family's request. Another domestic disturbance call comes in; a family of three has been staying in the living room after a series of strange disturbances. There is one area of the house where light bulbs instantly burn out and candles will not remain lit. The family explains that there were two painters working in the basement, where most of the disturbances occurred. In the basement, Sarchie discovers the decomposing body of one of the painters, David Griggs. At Griggs' decayed apartment, they find business cards for Alphonsus Painting company as well as a picture of Griggs with Jane Crenna and the child that she threw at the zoo. In another picture, Griggs is pictured in his Marine uniform with Jimmy and a third Marine, Mick Santino. They realize Santino must have been the painter at the zoo.

Mendoza believes that Jane is possessed by demons. He explains that there is secondary evil created by humans and primary evil which comes from demons. Sarchie is skeptical, but when he reviews the surveillance footage, he hears strange noises and sees things that Butler does not. Sarchie returns to Jimmy Tratner's house and finds a wall that was being painted. He scrapes away the paint to find a pictograph of an owl. At Sarchie's home, his daughter is awakened by strange scratching noises and runs from her room. Sarchie scrapes off the paint to find a bizarre mix of Latin and ancient pictographs. He hears noises and when investigating is attacked by Jimmy, who escapes through an open window. He finds hard drives with footage from Tratner's deployments and watches the footage from the palm grove in Diyala. In a cave, the soldiers found a carving of the same message that is on the wall in Tratner's home. Sarchie revisits the basement where he found Griggs' body, scrapes off the paint, and finds the message again. He reviews the zoo surveillance footage and sees the same message being painted over by Santino in the lion enclosure. With Mendoza, he visits Jane Crenna in the hospital but she savagely bites his already wounded forearm. She says the name Marvin and Sarchie is visibly shaken.

Mendoza decodes the message as a kind of bridge between Christian and pagan theology which would allow demons a door to the human world. He explains that certain people are more susceptible to such messages than others. He suggests that the voices and images Sarchie is seeing could be a result of his intuitive "radar," which means that he is also susceptible to the archaic message. Mendoza goes with Sarchie and Butler to an apartment building where they are attacked by Santino and Jimmy Tratner. Tratner almost kills Sarchie but is subdued by Mendoza's cross. Santino and Butler get into a fight, but Santino ends up killing Butler. Mendoza explains that to be effective in fighting this evil, Sarchie has to humble himself before God and confess his sins. Sarchie confesses that he killed a child predator named Marvin when he saw him come back to the scene of a recent child murder and he's felt a darkness growing in him since. Mendoza absolves him of his sins and he begins driving home.

At Sarchie's home, his daughter sees her stuffed owl advance toward her bed. As she runs screaming, she sees Santino in the hallway. As Sarchie is driving home, he gets a call from Jen but finds that it's Santino instead. He calls for backup and races home. When he arrives Santino warns that he has abducted Sarchie's wife and daughter, and then attacks Sarchie. Backup arrives and Santino is subdued and taken to the precinct where Mendoza and Sarchie perform an exorcism on him. During the exorcism, Sarchie begins hearing whispers telling him the name of the demon, Jungler. Mendoza is able to use the name of the demon during the exorcism to finally release Santino. Santino is then able to tell them Sarchie's wife and daughter are located in an Alphonsus Painting van at a storage facility. Seven months later, we are in the living room at the baptism of the Sarchies' second child, Daniella Anne Sarchie. Sarchie proudly renounces Satan during the baptism and a placard at the end says he retired from the police force and continued to work with Father Mendoza.



On September 4, 2012, director Scott Derrickson signed on to direct a paranormal cop thriller film he co-wrote with Paul Harris Boardman, with Screen Gems producing.[4] On November 12, Jerry Bruckheimer signed on to produce the film with his Jerry Bruckheimer Films production company, which had begun developing a treatment of the Sarchie book years earlier. David Ayer, Bryan Bertino and Bruce C. McKenna also worked on the screenplay before Bruckheimer went back to Derrickson.[11] Screen Gems set a January 16, 2015, release date and announced it would start filming on May 20, in The Bronx, New York City.[12] On November 13, 2013, Sony Pictures changed the release date from January 2015 to July 2, 2014.[5] On December 7, the film was retitled from Beware the Night to Deliver Us from Evil.[13]

The film features a completely original plot by Derrickson and co-writer Paul Harris Boardman,[14] while it draws on certain passages of Sarchie's book. Mendoza's explanation of primary and secondary evil is culled from the book's preface.[15] Many of the details from the scene where Sarchie and Butler encounter the family living in one room of a haunted house are taken directly from the first chapter of the book.[16]


Initially, Mark Wahlberg was set to star.[4] On November 9, 2012 The Wrap posted that Eric Bana was in talks to join the film, playing the lead role as a New York cop.[6] On April 9, 2013 Bana confirmed his role in the film as a Catholic cop, and Olivia Munn and Édgar Ramírez were set to co-star as the cop's wife and a priest respectively.[7] On May 28, 2013 Joel McHale and Sean Harris also joined the film; McHale played Bana's partner, a tough and experienced cop.[8] Dorian Missick joined cast on June 5 to play the role of the cop Gordon.[10] Other cast members include Chris Coy, Rhona Fox, and Valentina Rendón.[9]


Principal photography began on June 3, 2013 in New York City.[17] After wrapping up filming in New York in the end of July, production moved to Abu Dhabi at the start of August 2013.[18][19] Production filmed scenes at the Liwa Oasis desert in Abu Dhabi.[20][21] According to Empire State Development Corporation, Deliver Us from Evil spent more than $19 million in New York state over the course of its 34-day shoot in New York City and on Long Island. The production paid $7 million to New York residents, hiring some 700 cast and crew as well as more than 400 extras.[22]


On December 23, 2013, the first photo from the film was released.[23] The film's first trailer was released on YouTube on March 7, 2014,[24][25] followed by another international trailer on April 10.[26] On May 14 another trailer was released.[27]


The film was released on July 2, 2014 in 3,049 locations in the United States.[28]

Critical reception[edit]

The film holds an approval rating of 29% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 122 reviews, with an average rating of 4.7/10. The critical consensus states: "Director Scott Derrickson continues to have a reliably firm grasp on creepy atmosphere, but Deliver Us from Evil's lack of original scares is reflected in its shopworn title."[29] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 40 out of 100 based on 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[30]

Writing for Variety, Andrew Barker's review called it "a professionally assembled genre mashup that's too silly to be scary, and a bit too dull to be a midnight-movie guilty pleasure".[31] Critic Peter Keough of The Boston Globe wrote that the film is atmospheric but "the story soon devolves into variations of many movies we have seen before".[32] Bilge Ebiri of New York Magazine called it "a thoroughly generic exorcism film" and concluded, "There are some half-decent scares ... But the film's real problem is that it's somehow both one-note and convoluted."[33] Ben Sachs wrote in The Chicago Reader that Derrickson "demonstrates a knack for atmosphere but little sense of pacing". Of the film's atmosphere, Sachs wrote that "some sequences are effectively spooky" but "just as many feel uninspired".[34] Moira Macdonald of The Seattle Times described it as "a pretty routine and occasionally silly demonic-possession flick, which distinguishes itself by making us wait so long for the exorcism that heads may be spinning in the audience as well". Macdonald added, "Some of it's shivery, but a lot of it is familiar from similar movies."[35] Rafer Guzman of Newsday wrote, "Thanks to a fine cast, solid direction by Scott Derrickson and an idiosyncratic soundtrack by The Doors, the movie's mandatory cliches – Latin invocations, gurgling demons – are far more tolerable than usual."[36] Bill Stamets in The Chicago Sun Times stated, "Director Scott Derrickson and his co-writer, Paul Harris Boardman, deliver a routine procedural with unremarkable frights".[37]

Box office[edit]

Deliver Us from Evil did well at the box office. It had earned $2.8 million on its opening day. In its opening weekend, the film earned $9.5 million ranking at number four at the box office in the United States, behind the box office champion, Transformers: Age of Extinction.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Deliver Us from Evil (2014)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  2. ^ "DELIVER US FROM EVIL (15)". Columbia Pictures. British Board of Film Classification. June 3, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Deliver Us From Evil (2014)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb.
  4. ^ a b c Foreman, Liza (September 4, 2013). "Scott Derrickson Signs On to Direct 'Beware the Night'". Archived from the original on September 5, 2018. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Pictures, Sony (November 13, 2013). "Sony Pictures Moves Sex Tape and Beware the Night". Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Foreman, Liza (November 9, 2012). "Eric Bana in talks for Paranormal Police Thriller 'Beware the Night'". Archived from the original on January 21, 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Fleming, Mike Jr. (April 9, 2013). "Screen Gems Sets Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez And Olivia Munn For Exorcism Pic 'Beware The Night'". Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c "Joel McHale Joining Eric Bana in 'Beware the Night'". May 28, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Casting News for Scott Derrickson's Beware the Night". Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  10. ^ a b A. Obenson, Tambay (June 5, 2013). "Dorian Missick Lands Role In Jerry Bruckheimer-Produced Thriller 'Beware The Night'". Archived from the original on December 26, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  11. ^ Sneider, Jeff (November 12, 2012). "Bruckheimer to produce 'Beware the Night'". Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  12. ^ Creepy, Uncle (April 30, 2013). "Beware the Night in a Couple of Years". Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  13. ^ Turek, Ryan (December 7, 2013). "Eric Bana on His Beware the Night Experience, Film Gets Title Change". Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  14. ^ Matt Barone. "Interview: "Deliver Us From Evil" Director Scott Derrickson Isn't Scared of Reinventing Possession/Exorcism Horror". Complex.
  15. ^ Sarchie, Ralph, and Lisa Collier Cool. Beware the Night, p. xi.
  16. ^ Sarchie, p. 6–7.
  17. ^ "'Beware The Night', starring Eric Bana & Joel McHale, begins filming in NYC". June 4, 2013. Archived from the original on November 26, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  18. ^ "Beware the Night production moves from NYC to Abu Dhabi". August 9, 2013. Archived from the original on December 31, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  19. ^ "Hollywood 'Top Gun' producer shoots movie in Abu Dhabi". August 5, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  20. ^ "On the set of Eric Bana film Beware The Night in Abu Dhabi". August 4, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  21. ^ "Screen Gems shoots Jerry Bruckheimer film Beware the Night in Abu Dhabi". August 6, 2013. Archived from the original on February 15, 2015. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  22. ^ Cox, Gordon (July 2, 2014). "'Deliver Us From Evil' Delivered $19 Million in Spending to New York State". Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  23. ^ Turek, Ryan (December 23, 2013). "Exclusive Photo from Scott Derrickson's Deliver Us From Evil". Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  24. ^ "Deliver Us from Evil Official Trailer #1 (2014) - Eric Bana, Olivia Munn Horror HD". YouTube. March 7, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
  25. ^ Sneider, Jeff (March 7, 2014). "Eric Bana Investigates the Supernatural in First Trailer for 'Deliver Us From Evil'". Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  26. ^ Anderton, Ethan (April 10, 2014). "International 'Deliver Us from Evil' Trailer Brings Some More Horror". Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  27. ^ Anderton, Ethan (May 14, 2014). "Eric Bana Arrests the Possessed in New 'Deliver Us from Evil' Trailer". Retrieved May 16, 2014.
  28. ^ Subers, Ray (July 2, 2014). "Forecast: 'Transformers' to Take Out 'Tammy' Over July 4th Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  29. ^ "Deliver Us from Evil (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  30. ^ "Deliver Us From Evil (2014) Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  31. ^ Barker, Andrew (July 1, 2014). "Film Review: 'Deliver Us From Evil.'" Variety. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  32. ^ "'Deliver Us from Evil' more like 'Special Exorcisms Unit' - the Boston Globe". The Boston Globe.
  33. ^ "Deliver Us from Evil is a Thoroughly Generic Exorcism Film". July 2, 2014.
  34. ^ "Deliver Us from Evil". July 2, 2014.
  35. ^ "'Deliver Us from Evil' will leave you snickering, not scared". July 3, 2014.
  36. ^ "'Deliver Us from Evil': Strong cast makes it tolerable". July 3, 2014.
  37. ^ Stamets, Bill (July 2, 2014). "'Evil' delivers routine frights". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 26, 2017 – via PressReader.

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