Cliche-ridden horror scenes fail to deliver

ERIC BANA: Really the only one to benefit from him starring in Deliver Us From Evil.
ERIC BANA: Really the only one to benefit from him starring in Deliver Us From Evil.

MOVIE REVIEW: Deliver Us From Evil. Starring Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn and Sean Harris; directed by Scott Derrickson

Watching the trailer for Deliver Us From Evil had me excited.

A cop teams up with a priest to banish an evil spirit, and the soundtrack includes songs from The Doors.

The film was based on true events in the book Beware the Night, written by Ralph Sarchie, also the main character in the movie.

What should have been a great blend of crime and horror genres was actually an assembly of clumsy cliches.

Main character Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana), a street cop with anger problems who doesn't spend enough time at home, meets Mendoza (Edgar Ramirez), a once troubled teenager with a drug problem who turned to priesthood for redemption.

The pair work together to chase down former marine Santino (Sean Harris) who fought in Iraq, and became possessed by a demon during the conflict, who targets Sarchie's family.

While there were some big fright moments as you would expect from a horror flick, I found myself rolling my eyes at stupid stereotypes like creepy children's toys and the fact that the entire film was filmed at night or in the dark.

I also questioned why Sarchie's partner Butler (Joel McHale) was a cop who fought with switchblades.

The screenwriter had possessed characters mumbling lyrics from The Doors' songs, and I was waiting for it to be tied into the plot somehow, but I left the theatre confused as to how an Iraqi demon would know the lyrics.

Less than an hour after leaving the theatre, I struggled to remember characters' names or even the title of the movie I'd just watched.

I must admit, I am something of a die-hard horror fan, and I'm always looking for something original.

I overheard two teenage girls who sat in the row behind me saying it was one of the best horror flicks they've seen.

But for me, it was a completely unmemorable watch.

The Southland Times