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Film / Deliver Us from Evil

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Invocamus Vi Ingredi Ab Inferi

Deliver Us From Evil is a 2014 horror film based on the actual cases of former NYPD sergeant Ralph Sarchie directed by Scott Derrickson and starring Eric Bana, Èdgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn, Joel McHale, and Sean Harris. It centers around his dealings with several seemingly unrelated cases, but he soon learns that they are all share one common cause: demonic possession.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Artistic License – Law Enforcement: When Sarchie and Butler attempt to arrest Tratner for beating his wife, Tratner pulls a knife and begins aggressively resisting. Butler pulls his own knife and starts knife-fighting him. This is completely against police procedure and training. For a suspect using a knife in such close quarters, Sarchie and Butler would be justified in drawing their guns and using lethal force, it doesn't matter that Tratner's wife and child were present. They could have drawn their batons and pepper-spray and attempted to subdue him that way (very unlikely), but nowhere in police training or the use-of-force escalation procedures is there trying to have a knife duel with a suspect.
  • Asshole Victim: Sarchie accidentally murdered a child murderer while beating him. He's guilt-ridden over it, since while the man was a monster, it was still murder.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Butler manages to put up a good fight against Santino before getting killed.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: And scratchy. And likes to produce long, droning wails a lot.
  • Eye Colour Change: Possessed individuals seem to have black irises, particularly noticeable in Santino's extended exorcism sequence. When his demon is finally exorcised at the end, his eyes turn back to blue.
  • Fake American: Eric Bana (Australian) and Sean Harris (English).
  • For the Evulz: When Mendoza is asked why possessed people commit the evil that they do, he responds, essentially, "It can't be understood, it's just nonsensical."
  • Haunted Technology:
    • This particular demon seems to hate light bulbs, as any such light sources soon burn out when near a place of strong demonic influence.
    • There's also where Ralph sees Santino's face in a recording, and constantly thinks he's hearing static on his radio. But that's not technology, it's in his head.
  • Hearing Voices: Children's laughter. It usually precedes a Jump Scare and/or a possessed person appearing.
  • Hollywood Exorcism: The exorcism scene does a good job in sticking to real exorcism practices - don't listen to what the demon claims, don't believe it when it pretends the exorcism worked early, getting it to reveal its name means it is bowing to the power of God. But, of course, they had to have the glass shattering and all the other theatrics. The exorcism also lasts only a few minutes, whereas a real exorcism typically runs anywhere from days to months. If you look carefully at the timestamps on the security camera shots in that scene, the exorcism actually lasts about an hour and fifteen minutes total; it seems the audience is only seeing the 'highlights.'
  • Karma Houdini: It's implied that Santino will face no consequences for the crimes he committed while possessed, even though the most he could realistically hope for is an insanity plea that would likely lead to him being institutionalized LONGER than a prison sentence.
  • Left Hanging: The ultimate fates of Santino and Jane Crenna's now-orphaned kid — they both survive the events of the movie, but...
  • Magical Incantation: Possession of those susceptible happens whenever a person sees the writing "Invocamus Vi Ingredi Ab Inferi".
  • Mirror Scare: Ralph briefly sees Marvin, the child molester he murdered, in the mirror.
  • National Stereotypes: When asked if he has a crucifix in his home, Ralph replies "We're Italian, what do you think?".
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Santino asking "now do you believe?", while in the trailer, does not actually make it into the film, nor does the moment when the demon imitates Sarchie's daughter's voice ("Mommy...?").
  • Nothing but Skulls: A trench full of them in the cellar.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Demons and demonic possession are generally treated traditionally, but when the demon is asked his name, it's... Jungler. The hell is that? Might as well just name it Arnold.
  • Owl Be Damned
  • Powers via Possession: Typical fare, just incredible strength and endurance.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The demon giggles childishly and plays with toys frequently
  • Random Events Plot: Although all the events ultimately do end up being related, and having one shared antagonist, much of the movie's buildup involves Ralph and Butler investigating seemingly unrelated crimes. Moreover, unlike most films like this, the Big Bad doesn't spend the whole movie antagonizing the protagonists. For most of the movie, he only targets Ralph when he is directly approached, and makes no attempt to follow up until Ralph spends most of the movie going after him over and over.
  • Religion is Magic: Ralph has the ability to sense demonic activity - something he originally chalked up as cop's intuition and something his partner called his 'radar'.
  • Room Full of Crazy: The bunker, the basement, the office, the lion's pen.
  • Rule of Scary: If Santino has Invocamus Vi Ingredi Ab Inferi carved into his chest because seeing those words will possess the weak, why did he need to paint it everywhere to begin with? Why not just lift his shirt?
  • Self-Harm: Besides the obvious in Santino, other possessed people are depicted as randomly harming themselves, including clawing at the ground until their fingers bleed, or chugging two quarts of paint thinner.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The demon apparently is fond of Jim Morrison and the Doors, because he supernaturally plays "Break On Through" even over the exorcism scene.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The real Ralph Sarchie has gone on record as saying that, while the movie draws inspiration from his experiences, it doesn't actually resemble any cases he worked.
  • What Happened to the Mouse??: We never really find out what became of Jimmy, the wife-beating third Marine — Mendoza manages to subdue him, but he and Sarchie are both distracted by the realization that possessed!Santino has killed Butler, and Jimmy is never mentioned again.