‘Deliver Us’ Popcorn Frights 2023 Review: A Gruesome But Confusing Religious Horror

Deliver Us

Cru Ennis and Lee Roy Kunz‘s film Deliver Us opens with a horrifying scene where a group of people are being skinned alive for the supposed prophecies tattooed on their backs. It’s an incredibly brutal sequence that sets expectations high for this take on religious horror. But sadly Deliver Us can’t maintain that level of terror in what is a technically gorgeous film with a convoluted and overly complicated plot.

After the skinning, we jump a few hundred years into the present where a nun has supposedly immaculately conceived twins. The Vatican sends a team of priests to investigate as this could be part of a prophecy regarding the birth of twin boys who are the Messiah and the Anti-Christ. One of these priests is about to leave the church in the name of love. But before that, he’s put through an incredible test of faith as the investigation becomes an international mission to protect a woman and her babies from an ancient cult. As they travel across Europe to escape the cult’s clutches, more and more violence breaks out around them as an eclipse approaches… It’s your classic battle of good versus evil with a few twists thrown in to make it fresh (especially with the looming release of The Nun II).

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The scope of Deliver Us is massive both in time and space, which is unfortunately the film’s biggest detriment. Kunz and co-writer Kane Kunz are telling a lot of different stories here that require a lot of exposition, and oftentimes there isn’t enough time for said exposition. Between hundreds of years of lore, trying to give each character a bit of nuance, and also trying to scare audiences, Deliver Us ends up feeling like a lot of cool action sequences strung together with a loose narrative tying it together.

And to an extent, I respect it because this movie is trying really hard to break out from the usual religious horror tropes. Our good-guy priest common to the subgenre is actually leaving due to finding love, a perspective not often seen in the genre. But just as it’s introduced, that complication feels brushed away because now we’re moving into the immaculate conception. Deliver Us moves at a breakneck pace, which doesn’t behoove a film with so much exposition to really grasp who is who and what is happening.

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Ennis and Kunz do create some stunningly beautiful sequences of violence. They know how to craft the fear, that’s for sure, it’s just the scope of the story that needs to be reduced to truly execute their vision. That violence and the special effects take Deliver Us to another level as flesh is torn in the name of the Lord. While the brutality isn’t consistent, when it’s there, it hits hard and fast.

Deliver Us will impress religious horror fans looking for more brutal and stylistic fare. Ennis and Kunz may have been too ambitious, but it’s still an impressive feat that tries to break the typical priest-finding-his-faith-again mold. Plus I commend their creation of sexual tension between a lapsed priest and a nun. More contemporary sexy religious horror, please.



‘Deliver Us’ tries to break religious horror tropes with some disturbing sequences and massive scope, but ultimately falls flat due to a bloated script.



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