Director: Scott Derrickson
Writers: Scott Derrickson, Paul Harris Boardman
Production Companies: Jerry Bruckheimer Films, LStar Capital, Screen Gems
Stars: Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Joel McHale, Olivia Munn, Sean Harris
Genre: Horror/Detective Movie
What It’s About: Supposedly inspired from the journals of NY Police Sergeant, Ralph Sarchie. Soldiers in Iraq bring home some sort of evil to the states, and Sergeant Sarchie and his counterparts team up to fight it.
How I Watched It: Alone in my apartment. Gloomy afternoon.
Thoughts: **Definitely spoilers**
We start out with a flashback to Iraq in 2010. U.S. Soldiers end up down in some sort of cave–we switch to one of their helmet cams (found footage style) and there’s a bunch of screaming and things go black. Well, alrighty.
Then, we flash forward to 2013 in the Bronx. Sergeant Ralph Sarchie (Bana) is crying over a dead dumpster baby in an alley. I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of this scene was, other than to give the character “depth”. Then he gets all angry and walks away….and I’m not entirely sure why, but a weird shaky filming technique was used at that point…with some intense music. Almost like as he’s stomping away, he’s making mini earthquakes or something. I see that it was to show the anger….buuuuutttt that wasn’t used ANYWHERE else in the film. Seemed sort of misplaced to me.
Then Sarchie and his partner Butler (McHale) are out on patrol. Seeing Joel McHale threw me off for a bit. I’m so used to him being just an over-the-top goofball, I wasn’t sure how well he’d fit into the setting of this movie. No worries, though. He turns out to be the smartass “funnyman” sidekick to the Sergeant. He gets to kick a little bit of ass, though.
Anyway. They answer a domestic disturbance call because Sarchie just gets a sense that they should….Butler calls this his “radar”. Meh. It’s just a cop thing. Right? They get there, and the husband is one of the Marines that we saw in the opening. He fights back, slicing open Sarchie’s arm, then he makes a break for it and runs out into the neighborhood. They catch him and take him in.
Later on, they get a call about a woman at a zoo who threw her 2-year-old son into the moat of the lion’s den. The boy survived, but the woman went crazy and ran off somewhere on the zoo grounds…and apparently when this happened all of the electricity in the zoo went out. The duo search the grounds using night vision and heat sensing equipment. Sarchie finds her and she’s bein’ all crazy and clawing at the ground. She keeps mumbling lyrics from a song by The Doors. Sarchie spots a hooded figure (Harris) who appears to be painting. When he approaches to ask him questions, he runs. Sarchie has to enter the Lion’s sanctuary to chase him…and guess what? Lions are free. He barley makes it to the gate to escape death as lion chow. No geese on the weird painter.
They take the woman in, and eventually a priest (Ramirez) who has apparently being helping this woman, comes in and takes her to a mental institution.
Then they’re answering more calls that all seem to be connected with each other in a weird way. Painters and possessed houses, corpses full of bugs. Eventually they deduce that the hooded man was also one of the Marines from the opening scene. When they watch the footage from the zoo, he approaches the woman, Jane, and she seems to become possessed just before she throws her son into the water.
There are also weird markings on the wall and…ya know what? I’m getting sick of explaining this. There are wayyyyy to many details to this story. Basically, the Marines brought back evil with them. They were possessed by strange markings in that cave in Iraq. The same markings continue to show up throughout the movie, because it’s apparently a doorway for demons.
Sarchie’s “radar” is apparently some special ability that allows him to hear things others can’t. This basically means that he hears a lot of static, and children giggling, and….music by The Doors. Weird. I mean, I won’t complain about having a kickass soundtrack full of their music, but still. Apparently that music is used….because they’re called The Doors..and it’s…a doorway for evil….
Blah blah blah. They catch the hooded Marine and perform an exorcism on him because he’s possessed by some demon named….Junglar? Doesn’t sound very demonic…but I didn’t write it. But yeah. Everyone’s safe (except for Butler….he dies….spoilers). And we’re told that several months later, Sarchie retires and continues to fight evil with the priest.
There are some decent effects in this movie, but there are also some cheesy ones that kind of take me out of it. Most of the effects were CGI, but some of the makeup effects were alright. Pretty creepy.
Eric Bana did a pretty solid job. I got really tired of his back-story, though. If you’ll notice, I barely mentioned it in my synopsis…because I don’t care. 😄
My Rating: Meh.
I didn’t hate it, but I found myself getting pretty bored. The story gets really involved and intertwines too much, to the point of almost being confusing. If nothing else, I enjoyed the chemistry between Bana and McHale–I’m always a fan of buddy cop dramas.
Where Can I Watch It?: Available on Amazon and iTunes. I rented it from the local Family Video.