Specs from IMDB.com:
NY police officer Ralph Sarchie investigates a series of crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest, schooled in the rituals of exorcism, to combat the possessions that are terrorizing their city.
Director: Scott Derrickson
Taglines: You haven’t seen true evil
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)
Rated R for bloody violence, grisly images, terror throughout, and language
Release Date: 2 July 2014 (USA)
Runtime: 118 min
Rating: 8 out of 10
What a fantastic (albeit gruesome) movie! There is not a dull moment throughout the entire film (but plenty of scares) and not any inexplicable holes in the story that I could see. They also do a great job at making this realistic; no jumps from high building with no broken bones and glass shattering but no cuts (maybe the demon-possessed?). Sgt. Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) has seen the worst of humanity, thieves, murders, rapist, but when his newest case leads him into a world he can’t explain, he starts to consider forces that are outside this world. Father Mendoza (Édgar Ramírez) helps Sgt. Sarchie understand that he now faces a threat unlike anything he has faced before.
This movie is based off the book, Beware the Night by Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool, which tells the accounts of Ralph Sarchie through his years assisting in multiple exorcisms. This movie is pulled from those accounts into a delightful supernatural thriller with a good understanding of good vs. true evil, sin, repentance, and faith. Truly enjoyed this movie, but be warned, there are gruesome scenes and chilling images throughout the movie and multiple references to harrowing crimes. If you hate scary movies, this isn’t for you, but if you enjoy action and the supernatural struggle of good vs. evil, see this movie!
Themes: (Spoiler Warning!!)
Primary Evil, Secondary Evil: While Man has committed atrocities throughout history, there are certain reasons which may make sense to us and may have been done because they were trying to accomplish something for themselves or for someone else, but demons simply want oblivion and destruction is all different forms, death, utter fear, and trauma that will haunt you for the rest of your life. This is the kind of evil that this movie deals with, the worst there is.
Sin, Guilt, and Redemption: As Sgt. Sarchie begins to unravel this supernatural world, Father Mendoza states that to fight this kind of enemy, one must humble himself (or herself) before God, confessing your sin and asking for forgiveness. Father Mendoza revels his own past (drugs and his relapse) which (eventually) leads Sgt. Sarchie to confess the sin which has haunted him throughout the years. The guilt and suffering has caused a gap between himself and his family and a feeling of darkness which only grows, but in confession, he learns that one can be forgiven and move on.
This movie struck me as understanding the relationship with us as sinners and a loving God who wants nothing but a loving relationship with His children. Both Sgt. Sarchie and Father Mendoza have assorted pasts, but the beauty is that God uses these sinners to do His good work. They are called to this work to help rid the world of the basest evil forces there are and their faith is the greatest tool they have. Yes, this movie deals with a scary subject which more and more churches are shying away from, and I applaud them for it. There is a devil and he has minions, but God will triumph in the end. God has no equal opposite force, Satan cannot ever match God’s power, and all his works will only turn into greater glory for God in the end. I think the story of this movie points to that.
I hope to check out the book!