Derrickson and co-writer Paul Harris Boardman were inspired by the real Ralph Sarchie's tales of supernatural stuff he saw during his career as a NYPD, as detailed in his book "Beware the Night." Sarchie is currently working as a demonologist who investigates reports of possession and performs exorcisms as needed.
Here's what you need to know about "Deliver Us From Evil" before deciding on what to see this long, 4th of July weekend.
1. Joel McHale Is Good at Playing Bad
Fans of "The Soup" and "Community" know McHale as a ridiculously handsome and tall jokester, but as Sarchie's partner, Butler, he's a buff thrill-seeker who prefers knives to guns and Alice in Chains t-shirts to Jeff Winger's snappy suits. He's also kind of a jerk; he wears a Red Sox cap just to tick off his diehard NYC partner. McHale's character brings some much-needed gallows humor to the whole procedure.
2. Eric Bana Is a Solid Tough Guy
Although this performance won't win him any awards, Bana does have a pitch-perfect Queens accent and the muscles to back up his tough guy attitude. Then again, if you're dying to see Bana in real action, you might want to pick up "Hanna," "Munich," or "Chopper," which featured his breakthrough dramatic performance as the infamous Australian criminal Mark "Chopper" Read. Or, heck, check him out in Ang Lee's "Hulk."
3. Olivia Munn Is Your Typical Onscreen Cop Wife
The lovely Olivia Munn plays Mrs. Sarchie, and the mother of their mini-Sarchie, Christina (Lulu Wilson). That's about all she does. Her complaints are nothing new to anyone who's familiar with the marital problems of Elliot Stabler or any other tough TV or movie cop who takes his work home with him. Then again, wouldn't you be cranky if your husband was too busy chasing creeps to come home at night?
4. Enough With the Creepy Kids' Toys!
Everyone who watches horror movies knows that any sort of children's toy that can make noise, will make noise. No matter how loudly Lulu Wilson can scream -- and boy, can she scream! -- the old jack-in-the-box trick is so played out that it's in the trailer.
5. This Movie Needs More Sean Harris
Harris plays Santino, a war vet who brought back a rather nasty secret from the Middle East, and he spends a lot of time being effectively creepy. This might be due to the fact that it's constantly raining and Santino looks like someone whose corpse paint has faded after spending a long night in the woods burning down churches. He's also tough and wiry enough to be a formidable opponent.
6. It's So Earworm-y
Are you susceptible to getting songs stuck in your head? You're in luck! "Deliver Us From Evil" references The Doors and uses one or two of their songs on the soundtrack, so you'll be humming "People Are Strange" for days to come.
7. It's More Jump-Scary Than Gory
There are definitely some icky bits in this horror movie, but it pales in comparison to the violence you might encounter in gorefests like the remake of "Evil Dead." It's not pleasant, but hey, that's not why you're going to see a horror movie, now is it? On the other hand, "The Conjuring" managed to be pee-your-pants scary with barely a drop of blood.
8. But Jump Scares Only Get You So Far
What was quite effective in "Sinister" quickly becomes played out in "Deliver Us From Evil." Whether it's because the stakes just don't seem that high or if the premise of "Sinister" is just, well, more sinister, the scares wear off quickly.
9. Now We're Curious About the Real-Life Sarchie
One thing is for sure; the real Ralph Sarchie is a character, and if this is just a taste of what weirdness he saw while on the force, well, "Beware the Night" just jumped to the top of our summer reading list.
10. Ramirez Is the Buffest, Babeliest priest in the Bronx
Mendoza's such a rebel that he probably rides a motorcycle to Mass. When he's not bellying up at a bar or chain-smoking, he's jogging in the rain or doing countless pushups and other muscle-building things in his apartment. Ramirez got our attention as the star of the mini-series "Carlos: The Jackal," and we can't wait to see him in his upcoming films like "Hands of Stone" and "Point Break." He might even show up in "Doctor Strange" -- though he'll probably leave the cassock at home.
"Deliver Us From Evil" is in theaters now.