Deliver Us From Evil (2014)

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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.

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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….

Yeah. Okay.

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.

The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

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Director: James DeMonaco
Writer: James DeMonaco
Production Companies: Blumhouse Productions, Platinum Dunes, Universal Pictures, Why Not Productions
Stars:  Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zoe Soul, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez, Jack Conley, Michael Keneth Williams
Genre: Horror

What It’s About: Sequel to The Purge (2013). This time we view the annual Purge from within the city limits as opposed to a single household. 3 stories become intertwined as a group of people struggle to survive the night.

How I watched It: Alone in my apartment. Evening.

Thoughts: **Spoilers Be Damned**
When the first movie came out last year, I was so excited about the concept. One night a year when you could get away with anything…even murder. I mean…come on. That’s a pretty terrifying thought. The first movie was setup as more of a home invasion, where an upper class family settled in for the night in their barricaded home, only to be terrorized by a group of people from the outside.  I left that film fairly pleased. I enjoyed it…but the more I thought about it, I decided what I really enjoyed was the idea of it.

Now THIS movie was more what I was wanting to see. I’m a middle class citizen. I know that there is no way I would be able to afford all the fancy-schmancy barricades. This film takes on the journey of three separate groups of middle/lower class people that become intertwined as they try to survive in the city.

The 3 stories:
1) Eva and Cali: Eva (Ejoga) and daughter Cali (Soul) are gonna wait out the night in their humble apartment. With them, they also have their sickly father/grandfather. After The Purge commences, they realize that he has gone off to become a “martyr” for a rich family. Basically…he’s sacrificed himself to let some rich dicks murder him in the safety of their home, with the guarantee that his family will get a hefty payday. As they realize this, a man from their building breaks in and plans to take out his frustrations on them. Before he can, men in heavily armored get-ups bust in and kill him. They drag Eva and Cali out into the street to the back of a large semi, where a man (Conley) with a large Gatling Gun is waiting. They call him Big Daddy. It doesn’t look good for these two….until….[ENTER SERGEANT]

2) Sergeant: Sergeant (Grillo) AKA Mr. BAMF is out for vengeance. When we first see him, he’s getting geared up to go out into The Purge. He’s got fairly heavy artillery and he’s taken it upon himself to put armor all over his car. We don’t really learn much about his story, but we can tell that he’s got a singular target, and that he’s determined.  When he rolls into town, he sees Eva and Cali being manhandled by the men outside. Reluctantly, he decides to help them.  He just rolls up and shoots all of them down. Bad. Ass. And instead of leaving them to fend for themselves, he takes them along with him. At least we know he’s a good guy, right? They head back to his car….and in the back seat are….

3) Shane and Liz: Shane (Gilford) and Liz (Sanchez) are a separated married couple. They were on their way home before The Purge started. They stopped at a convenience store, and while they were there, a group of kids in creepy masks cut some lines in their car. So….they make it a few miles down the road before their car stalls and they’re stranded…just minutes before the night commences. The creeps with masks and dirt bikes are hot on their trail. They make a run for it into the city. They come across Sergeant’s car while he’s helping Eva and Cali, and decide to crawl in the back. Before Sergeant has time to argue, Big Daddy gets up and starts shooting. They take off–all 5 in tow. Too bad that the gun was loaded with armor-piercing bullets…because now Sarge’s car is toast.

The five of them run around the city for a while, dodging attacks along the way. The destination is Eva’s friend’s place. Sergeant wants her car so he can continue on. Along the way, they run into more of the semi trucks with armed forces. Those trucks have a lot of high-tech equipment that appears to be linked to the city’s street cameras. It’s pretty easy to see where that one’s going…dun dun DUUUUNNNN: The Government. They make it to the friend’s house…and bitches go crazy and start shooting up their own family….so the 5 decide to get the fuck outta dodge.

When they escape there, they’re captured by the creepers that were chasing Shane and Liz at the beginning. However, instead of killing them, they take them and sell them to a group of rich people. These fuckers are making a night of it. They’re basically having an auction and a show. At 200K a head, the bidders can partake in a hunting session….with a bunch of humans as the prey. Anyone who didn’t bid, gets to enjoy the festivities behind bulletproof glass. Fucked. Up. Instead of what you might expect, they fight back and take charge. The rich send in reinforcements, and Shane gets shot dead. Just when you think it’s over…in rolls the anarchist group.

This movie is chalk-full of social commentary.  It has a very 99% vs. the 1% vibe. Early in the movie, we see some videos put up by an anarchist group which is led by Carmelo Johns (Williams). This group is against The Purge and the NFAA (the group in charge). They see the annual event as a ploy by the rich to reduce the population below the poverty line. We see other hints of them throughout the movie, but this is the point where they come out, guns blaring. They bust down the doors and take out all of the rich fuckers…but of course not until after Mr. Carmelo gives a speech.

Honestly, anytime I see Michael K. Williams, I just wanna call him Omar.

Ya know...from The Wire?

Ya know…from The Wire?

Anyway, Liz is pissed that they killed Shane, so she stays behind to purge with them. The other 3 leave, steal a car, and Sergeant heads to his final destination.

It’s finally revealed to us that he wants to kill the man who killed his son the year before in a drunk driving accident. He breaks in, and it looks like he’s done the deed. He goes to leave the house….and BAM. Someone shoots at him. Guess who? Big Daddy. He was pretty pissed that he shot him earlier. He reveals to us that he works for the government. Apparently the good people of America weren’t getting out there and killing each other enough, so the government decided to even the playing field a bit. He reveals all of the secrets, and it looks like Sarge is done for….and BAM! MORE SHOOTING. The man who Sergeant went there to kill is alive takes mercy on him and shoots Big Daddy right in the noggin. Seeeee?  Sarge is a good guy! He didn’t do it!

Then the sirens sound. The Purge is over. The man, Cali and Eva rush Sergeant to the hospital. FIN.

Honestly, my only complaint was that the lens flares from the flashlights when they’re down in the subway seemed fake. Meh.

My Rating: Huzzah!!

I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Well placed twists and turns, high adrenaline, great action–a truly intense ride. Terrifying.

Where Can I Watch It?: Available on Amazon and iTunes. I rented it from the local Family Video.