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Infernal Affairs

Andrew Schwartz/Screen Gems

Deliver Us From Evil (2014)

“Inspired by the actual accounts of an N.Y.P.D. sergeant,” “Deliver Us From Evil” draws from the book “Beware the Night” by Ralph Sarchie, here played by Eric Bana. Three Iraq war veterans — driven by horrific impulses apparently unrelated to post-traumatic stress disorder — perpetrate some bizarre crimes in the Bronx.

Much like the Hong Kong film “That Demon Within” released this past April, “Deliver Us From Evil” boasts a factual basis as its selling point even though it has little connection to reality beside the basic premise.

Its police procedural twist aside, “Deliver Us From Evil” is basically the garden-variety possession/exorcism flick — not unlike other alleged true stories such as “The Exorcist,” “The Amityville Horror,” “An American Haunting,” “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” “The Haunting in Connecticut,” “The Possession,” “The Conjuring” et al. Come to think of it, none of the truly memorable horror films of late laid claims to being truth-based.

While the real-life Mr. Sarchie took up demonology, his big-screen counterpart is a guilt-ridden nonbeliever. “Emily Rose” director Scott Derrickson does his best to create atmospheric horror, but the film mostly relies on special effects such as gnats flying out of the eye sockets of a corpse and a forehead splitting open during the exorcism. When a plot gets so ludicrous, even the suggestion that it could happen to you won’t make the film any scarier.


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