Deliver Us From Evil

Screen Gems

Christopher Young knows horror. After 32 years in the business and countless horror movies under his belt from Hellraiser to The Grudge to Drag Me To Hell to his latest, Deliver Us From Evil, Young is a wealth of information when it comes to talking all things fear. A composer, but also a big fan, Young’s appreciation for the genre has in turn helped him give it some of its most terrifying scores. Young didn’t seek out the horror genre, it just happened that he was coming up in the business when films like Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and Freddy the 13th reigned supreme. Deliver Us From Evil marks the third time Young has worked with director Scott Derrickson, and Young is clearly a fan of the rising filmmaker, noting that he is one of only a handful of directors whose specialty is horror.  “He’s one of two or three horror directors that I’ve worked with who are extremely intelligent and concise about what it is they’re trying to do with their movie as a director, but equally — and more importantly from my perspective — is what needs to be done with the music,” Young says.

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Blue Exorcist

Exorcism is a bizarre and unsettling thing. Filmmaker Scott Derrickson certainly understands that, which is why he keeps making movies about demonic possession. His newest, Deliver Us from Evil, isn’t exactly getting the best critical reception. Granted, neither did The Exorcism of Emily Rose and that movie remains a hoot to re-watch. Regardless of quality, exorcism and Catholic-inflected horror has its own inherent draw. The images are often compelling by their very nature, particularly if they’re composed well. This isn’t a cultural subgenre simply because The Exorcist made such an impression on its own back in 1973, though that obviously helped. With all of that said, you may not want to risk Deliver Us from Evil even if you are, like me, something of a nut for profane and terrifying Catholic imagery. I have an alternative for you. Stay home and watch some Blue Exorcist, a Japanese animated series currently available to stream for free on Hulu in its entirety. What’s the appeal? Exorcism isn’t actually owned by Western European Christianity. As the inimitable Shohreh Aghdashloo testified in The Exorcism of Emily Rose, demonic possession is a thoroughly international phenomenon. Blue Exorcist is based on a manga of the same title by Kazue Kato, who could easily have built something entirely out of East Asian mythology. Instead, he created a fascinating blend of different cultural currents. In adapting the books into an animated series, director Tensai Okamura and the animators at A-1 Pictures have continued that blend. It is still very much inspired by the Catholic horror films of Hollywood and its principal exorcists are at least […]

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Deliver Us From Evil Documentary

The “deliver us from evil” segment of the Lord’s Prayer has been used as the title of at least five movies, two albums, one song, and two books. It’s an evocative phrase, so it makes sense. The latest movie called Deliver Us from Evil comes out this week, and it’s a hybrid of the horror, crime and “based on a true story” genres. It’s adapted from “Beware the Night,” a book by NYPD policeman-turned-demonologist Ralph Sarchie, which details his supposed encounters with the paranormal in the course of his police work. How much credibility the viewer lends to Sarchie likely depends on their flavor of religious belief. Regardless of how believable the film is, its reception has not been kind. So instead, seek out an Oscar-nominated documentary with the same name. This one is about real religion-related acts of evil. The 2006 Deliver Us from Evil looks at the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal by focusing on the case of one man: Oliver O’Grady, who raped at least 25 Northern California children between the late ’70s and early ’90s in the course of his service as a priest. As both he and his now-grown victims and their families attest, his hideous crimes were never particularly well-hidden. Whenever his offenses came to light, O’Grady’s superiors would hush things up and move him to a different parish. It is a micro view of how institutions work to protect themselves, and how ordinary people are the ones who suffer the consequences. READ MORE […]

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

June ended with a blockbuster that encapsulated everything wrong with most summer movies. Bloated, thin, self-indulgent, mean-spirited, and incomprehensible are a few ways to describe Michael Bay‘s Transformers: Age of Extinction. It’s not the worst film of the series, but it’ll definitely go down as one of the worst films of the summer. Still, audiences love Bay’s brand and the film made more money domestically in its opening weekend than Edge of Tomorrow has thus far stateside, which is just heartbreaking. Thankfully, we have summer movies like Edge of Tomorrow and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes to remind us not all blockbusters are run-of-the-mill studio products. Besides Dawn of the Planet of the Apes or another viewing of Edge of Tomorrow there’s plenty of other movies to check out this month. Here are the must see movies of July 2014:

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Screen Gems

Any film centered on demonology has an inherent responsibility for success: to make you, the jaded viewer, believe… or at least, to convince you to suspend your disbelief for just a few hours. Whether or not the film’s protagonist(s) are able to do so or not is dependent. In many, like director Scott Derrickson‘s own The Exorcism of Emily Rose, our main character is convinced of the Satanism at hand, desperately trying to get others to listen, while in others, like The Last Exorcism, our lead is one of the last to be convinced of the Devil’s works. Derrickson’s latest, Deliver Us From Evil, is one of the latter tales, in which our hero is slowly pushed to believe, bringing the audience along with him. Ralph Sarchie (played here by Eric Bana) in real-life is a retired NYPD detective, and it’s his memoir upon which this film is based. Bana’s Sarchie strides through his cases, forcefully and professionally, though the grim realities of mankind’s capabilities begin to take a draining and stressful toll on him. Luckily, his cop partner and comic-relief machine, Butler (Joel McHale), keeps him balanced. Sarchie’s neglecting his family life, wife Olivia Munn and daughter, thanks to an overbearing schedule at his poisonous job – and that’s before the demon stuff starts.

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summermovieprediction_week10

Welcome to week ten of our 2014 Summer Box-Office Challenge! Think of it as a summer-long contest for movie-lovers — you’ll make predictions and guesses as to which summer movies will rule the box-office each week, we award points and at the end of the contest the three top point-earners will each win a Blu-ray/DVD prize pack! First place will win ten (10) Blu-ray/DVD titles released throughout the coming summer, second place wins five (5) and third place wins two (2). We’ll have bonus questions each week as well to help bolster your point totals and keep you in the running. This week’s results were a forgone conclusion in the general sense, but the specifics are still up for debate. The studio itself is pegging Transformers: Age of Extinction at $100 million for this past weekend, but we shouldn’t be surprised if the actuals see that number drop some by this afternoon. We have a couple players who will would earn the “within a million” bonus if it holds up, so for that reason the top five players won’t be updated until later today. As for the actual bonus question — well, that will also have to wait for the actuals as Nothing Bad Can Happen isn’t even appearing on Box Office Mojo’s weekend estimates yet. [UPDATE: The actuals are in, and Transformers 4 made... $100m. The answer to the bonus question is "lower" as Nothing Bad Can Happen only opened to a $700 per theater average. Here are the current top five players.]

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The Purge 2

October may be the official month of horror movies, with a pillowcase of spooky releases slated just before Halloween each year, but that doesn’t mean you are free from cinematic terror in the off-season. Especially since the summer has become an unexpected time slot for surprise horror hits like The Conjuring. This summer’s crop of horror films features a number of film festival selections as well as films from popular horror directors like Ti West, Scott Derrickson and the Dowdle Brothers. If you’d like a quick refresher on what horror films to expect for the next few months, or if you just want to watch the trailers that will haunt your late-night television commercials now and get it over with, here’s a list with their unnerving trailers attached. Keep in mind that the dates listed below are for the U.S., though if the films are successful enough, they’ll surely be available eventually wherever you are. You can’t hide:

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Eric Bana in DELIVER US FROM EVIL

With horror movies hitting theaters left and right, it’s often hard to tell new releases apart. After all, it’s easy to stick with a tried and true formula if it’s guaranteed to get the maximum amount of scares and screams. Take some nice, normal people, for example, and have them get plagued by a demon or a malevolent poltergeist. It’s been working for the last 30 or so years, hasn’t it? Have their plight be viewed through the grainy green haze of found footage and there’s an even bigger chance that it’s going to be a hit. Or stick that nice family in an even worse situation — maybe it’s some facet of the house itself that’s turning on them, like a cursed mirror or family heirloom. It’s the “call is coming from inside the house” of ghosts. While these methods of spookiness are effective and often masterful, they’re also becoming another thing — expected. There can only be so many Paranormal Activity sequels before Paranormal Activity: Maybe We Should Just Move makes it into the mix. That’s why the trailer for Deliver Us From Evil, the new horror from Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) looks so refreshing. While Derrickson is guilty of a few genre sins in his last couple films — that nice family plagued by demons, getting a pretty Catholic girl mixed up with Satan — Evil appears to be unlike what the genre’s been churning out for the last few years. Check out […]

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This Week in DVD

Who’s ready to import some DVDs? Hopefully the answer is “you” because there are two fantastic releases hitting the UK this week available for quick and easy import from AmazonUK. But even if overseas purchases aren’t your bag this is a pretty solid DVD release week on the domestic front as well. Of course some of them are still in a foreign language… As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Cold Fish (UK) A mild-mannered pet shop owner leads an uneventful life with his detached 2nd wife and rebellious teen daughter, but when they’re forcibly befriended by a successful competitor they find themselves drawn into a world of corruption, murder, and perversion. Murder, sex, and salt-water aquariums… we’ve all been there haven’t we? This is the latest film from Sion Sono (Suicide Club) and while it shares many themes with his other films it has the distinction of being the first of his to be based on a true story. The film is a slowburn, unless you compare it to the director’s other films, but builds to a gloriously over the top and bloody finale. Check out Cole Abaius’s full review here. *NOTE – This is a UK region 2 release so you’ll need to play it in a region-free player or your computer.*

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This week’s film comes from director Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch, Nightwatch), and it shows us that white people are violent and racist bastards no matter the language. An educated man named Johannes moves his family back to his small hometown and finds trouble when a local immigrant is targeted by townspeople out for revenge. The dark-skinned, Bosnian refugee is falsely accused of killing a kindly old woman, and when the angry, Danish citizens come looking for justice Johannes puts the lives of his family and himself at risk by taking the man into his home for protection. Bornedal’s film is part thriller and part social commentary as it explores the motivations of people both good and bad. And the razor thin line between the two…

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we see how drunk we can get on Avatar, on the movies of the decade that were overlooked, and table wine.

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