Former stand-up comedian, now accomplished Australian actor, Eric Bana goes paranormal in the new horror thriller Deliver Us from Evil, based on actual evidence recorded from New York police officer Ralph Sarchie.
The eerie premise begins to take hold during the simple routine of investigating a series of crimes throughout a darkened city, however it soon becomes apparent that the cop needs help. Learning the art of exorcism is prompted after teaming with an unconventional priest edging closer into an underground spiritual world of the ghostly harmful spectres.
More than a drama than an actual horror, it still has a few terrifying scenes that freaked me out, startling my senses and got me thinking of what other scary films have been derived from true stories. The milking of sequels aside, liberties are taken with the original before the transition to the silver screen.
As frightening as it may seem, classic films such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre, were reported cases as was arguably the most disturbing of them all, The Exorcist.
Keeping your stomach in knots from start to finish, a pre-teen Linda Blair remained typecast her entire career after this, while during production crazy unexplained experiences affected cast and crew on set.
As a connoisseur of all things movies, to my surprise upon closer inspection, Steven Speilberg’s Jaws, was based on a 1916 plethora of New Jersey shore shark attacks, which of course author Peter Benchley used as his basis in the novel before it got the Hollywood treatment. Critics didn’t like it in 1979 but that didn’t stop The Amityville Horror becoming a crowd puller scaring up box-office bonanza. A family moves into a supposedly haunted Long Island home, walls bleed, swarms of bees attack, however even though the source book was written from real life, detectives dismissed the incidences as an entire hoax. Similar, apparent real circumstances of a more erotic variety appear in The Entity, a film which catapulted actress Barbara Hershey into the limelight.
Closer to home, movies such as Wolf Creek (not the over the top sequel) and a little seen gem, Open Water, had a chilling Australian influence. In particular, Open Water looks at a pair of international tourists left behind floating outside the Great Barrier Reef after their group scuba diving boat leaves them behind. Sharks and unidentified marine life nibbling at them is only the beginning.
Another lesser known but highly effective shocker with a limited filming budget was The Strangers. A couple arrive home after a nice night out only to be stalked by faceless people knocking at the door and appearing outside widows. Trust me, it is nerve jangling.
Recently, The Conjuring was a surprise box office hit about real life couple, paranormal specialists Ed and Lorraine Warren answering the call from a family in a farmhouse of unexplained activity. Movies such as Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity, are from the found footage genre and not true stories as the filmmakers would like you to believe. They are still as effective in my eyes when viewed without any prior knowledge of the story.
Eric Bana is a great Australian actor who mostly chooses his roles with a unique career viewpoint. Deliver Us from Evil, is no different, he is brooding and believably anxious developing a love/hate relationship with his new priest partner. Highly recommended for a few cheap thrills and atmospheric police drama.
By Shane A. BassettSydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.