Deliverance from Evil (2012)
Directed by The Quiroz Brothers
The newest offering from Oakland, California's Quiroz Brothers directorial team is a demonic possession film surrounding a young family who find themselves terrorized by a supernatural force. This is a classic horror theme that has been done many, many times before. In Deliverance from Evil, the Quiroz Bros. look to add their own spin on the idea. Unfortunately, although the film does have a couple of high points, it fails to live up to the potential of the story.
The biggest strength of Deliverance from Evil unfortunately accentuates one of its glaring weaknesses. The film features Jose Rosete (The Damned, Death Row) in the lead role of a father who has lost his son in a tragic accident and now finds his life terrorized by a force he can't begin to comprehend. Rosete is easily the best actor on this staff, and as much of a positive as he is in this capacity, it also becomes a liability. How can your best actor be a problem for the filmmakers, you may ask... because he is so much better than everyone else in the cast, his flawless delivery of lines highlights the shortcomings of the other performers who are not nearly as talented.
Deliverance from Evil is a low budget offering, and unfortunately that stands out quite clearly when watching the film. The few CGI effects in the film do more to give it a low budget look than make it slicker. Slasher fans will be happy to know that the film does contain the obligatory "warning from a townie" to scare off the potential victims. However, in this case that townie delivering the warning is none other than the scribe of the original Friday the 13th, Victor Miller, which is pretty much the high point of the entire film.
Aside from Miller's appearance, the film does have a few decent moments. As mentioned, Rosete's portrayal of the heartsick father, crushed by the loss of his son, is impressive, and his haunted visions are effective. The creepy Pazuzu-esque demon-child would have been a big plus if it had been used for more than one scene, and additionally, the haunting soundtrack also adds nicely to the ambiance.
Unfortunately, Deliverance from Evil has a hard time overcoming its shortcomings. The back story of the murdered family doesn't resonate as it should, and the slamming doors, Poltergeist-like scenes don't provide the punch needed. Even the exorcism scene in the film, which should draw every viewer in, is nearly laughable as Rosete's eerie performance is minimized by an over-the-top performance from the medium.
Deliverance from Evil has the right idea but flounders getting off the ground as Rosete's performance is not enough to carry the entire movie. The Quiroz Brothers definitely had the right idea with this one but couldn't overcome many of the pitfalls that often plague low budget filmmakers. Still, we'll be keeping an eye out for their next project.
2 out of 5