Columbia Pictures presents the supernatural thriller “Deliver Us From Evil” from Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister) and starring Eric Bana and Edgar Ramirez.
“Deliver Us from Evil” tells the story of New York police officer Ralph Sarchie (Bana) who, struggling with his own personal issues, begins investigating a series of disturbing and inexplicable crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest (Ramirez), schooled in the rituals of exorcism, to combat the frightening and demonic possessions that are terrorizing their city.
The film is based on the book Beware the Night, written by the real Ralph Sarchie and journalist Lisa Collier Cool. The collection detailed the most incredible cases of the inhuman kind Sarchie faced and solved during his career as a cop. The book was optioned by producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean, National Treasure) in 2004, who initially brought Derrickson on to write a script. But as his reputation for directing grew, Derrickson claimed this supernatural thriller as his next vehicle.
“When I first met Jerry about the film he said, ‘I want to make Serpico meets The Exorcist’,” Derrickson recalls. “I thought, ‘That’s the greatest idea I ever heard’. And to combine a police procedural with action and a possession story - that’s pretty fresh and new. There’s a lot of scary moments, but it really rides the line – right in between.”
Sarchie’s real-life experiences not only make up the backbone of the film, but he has also been the film’s on-set advisor, bringing emotional authenticity to the extraordinary stories these characters encounter.
“The book is a compilation of some of my profound cases with some police anecdotes in there,” Sarchie explains. “I was trying to show that there’s a correlation between primary evil and the evil that men do. It’s not as profound when the demonic are active at home compared to when you have someone out there doing robberies – there’s a different type of evil that we have to deal with.”
The demonic forces Sarchie refers to are not your usual big screen baddies. Says Derrickson: “The possessed characters in this movie are different things than we have seen in (other) possession movies. They are more calculated, more purposeful; which I think is pretty fascinating.”
Also interesting is that most of the film is actually shot on location in the Bronx; a borough of New York that the real life Ralph Sarchie worked as an undercover Sergeant.
“There’s no place in the world like the Bronx,” reasons Derrickson. “It has its own textures and history. There is a dangerous quality to it – it’s dark and dank and there’s a kind of menace in all the labyrinth alleyways and fire escapes. The 4-6, where Sarchie was a cop for many years - the FBI called that the most dangerous square mile in America.”
The director concludes, “This story is not so much about the typical drug dealer or serial killer. There’s a lot of decent people who are being victimized by this thing which has a paranormal edge.”
Opening across the Philippines on July 02, “Deliver Us From Evil” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.