thestormwithin

MOTELx Quick Review: The Storm Within (2013)

storm within

  • Directed by: Martin Doepner
  • With: Isabelle Guérard, Lothaire Bluteau
  • 93 Minutes

The Storm Within was introduced as a singular movie in the selection for being intriguing and for the historical aspects. It was a revelation of the festival and a mix between horror and drama that shocked and amazed me. The Storm Within had unconventional villains and no one had strict characteristics. The development of the characters was intriguing for most of the time and when you think that the slow pace and the dramatic atmosphere will last till the end, the movie attacks your mind in a very twisted way. Directed by Martin Doepner, The Storm Within left me silent and it was a complete surprise to me.

In the New Year’s Eve, a Canadian family that lives in a faraway place will be part of a terrifying and traumatic experience. After watching the man of the house leaving to buy things for the night, the rest of the family stays at home and is visited by two mean British soldiers who scare everyone. But when a strong snow storm begins, the family receives the unexpected visit of five British soldiers who are looking for shelter after one of them got shot. With the husband still out there, the family provides comfort and helps the British soldiers… There were nice men in the group and mean ones but everyone was calm but when the alcohol starts making its effect, the family realizes why there was an injured soldier and the calm night soon transforms into a terrifying nightmare wrapped in tension and intrigue.

The whole movie worked as a traumatic experience in which is unclear deciding who the nice guys are. It’s a movie that suffers from a twisted development and that ends in a nasty and in a shocking way. The Storm Within worked both as a historical drama (with a good portrait of the 19th Century) and as a ruthless thriller… A rare movie that takes advantage of its complex characters to surprise everyone. The performances are curious and for most of the time I was shocked with the way everything worked. The movie tries really hard to create a notion of fear and evil that is constantly changing and this idea was absolutely amazing to watch. In the end, The Storm Within tries to surprise everyone and that mission is well accomplished and it’s an evil and twisted story capable of bringing our fears to the surface. Shocking, addictive and captivating, The Storm Within will remain in your head for a very long time.

★★★★

1175917 - DELIVER US FROM EVIL

Deliver Us from Evil

deliver us from evil

  • Directed by: Scott Derrickson
  • With: Eric Bana, Édgar Ramírez, Olivia Munn
  • 118 Minutes

Could “Deliver Us from Evil” possibly be the next big hit in the horror genre? Well at the first sight, the movie appears like several horror features we’ve seen it the past. There is a criminal investigation going on and a powerful evil entity is involved in the middle of it attracting more victims. It’s a bit similar with “Sinister” but with a darker atmosphere and its leading character is a policeman instead of a novelist. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Scott Derrickson, “Deliver Us from Evil stars Eric Bana as a cop and Édgar Ramírez as a Spanish unconventional priest. Based on a non-fiction book entitled “Beware the Night” by Ralph Sarchie (the same name of Bana’s character), “Deliver us from Evil” unleashes a powerful and evil entity to our world.

When a New York policeman, Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana), accepts a case he was not assigned to, he ends up helping a woman and a kid from the hands of a crazy man filled with scars in his body. Although the situation looked a bit different than most Domestic Violence cases, Sarchie was assigned to a creepy case in which a woman murdered her own son inside the Zoo. When Sarchie and his partner found the woman lost in the middle of the Zoo, she was doing crazy things and quoting a song from “The Doors”. Adding to these particular things, the cops on the scene found a creepy man inside the lion cage that runs away and almost kills Sarchie after releasing the huge animals. While he was starting to pay more attention to these unconventional things that were happening in the crime scenes and while he was listening to noises only he was able to ear, he and his partner walk towards a house that was, according with the family that lived there, haunted and possessed. After meeting priest Mendoza, Sarchie starts believing that there is something mysterious like a demon or other kind of evil entity involved in the middle of all this cases and while he is struggling with his own personal problems, the help of the priest is crucial to solve the case and to help everyone who his in grave danger. Mendoza and Sarchie join forces to fight a powerful entity that has possessed already several men and women in the Bronx and was ready to leave their bodies to possess more people. With his family in danger and his own life at stake, Sarchie needs to fight against all his fears to be able to fight this dangerous demon.

deliverus

“Deliver Us from Evil” is basically a crime film that suddenly wins a paranormal meaning and becomes a horror movie about exorcisms and possessions. At the beginning we’re confronted with the cases and the with the first evidences that something awkward is happening and although the cases are somehow interesting, the movie only gains a good pace and a darker atmosphere when we are introduced to the first paranormal events. The movie has several spooky moments that actually scared me a bit but I’m really easy to scare so “scary-jump” scenes are a constant threat to me every time I watch a horror movie. Just like in every other horror flick, most of the scenes from “Deliver Us from Evil” are set in a dark environment with practically no light except for the flashlights brought by the cops. Apparently, this demon likes to scary people and to possess them by turning off the lights which, let’s face it, is an effective strategy to scare the viewers used so many times during the history of cinema. Therefore, most of the movie takes place in dark places with lots of shadows and “scary-jump” scenes. The story of “Deliver Us from Evil” is a mix between a police investigation and a paranormal story in which the first part is the interesting one, with some mystery in the middle and during that stage, the movie looks a bit like a paranormal thriller. The paranormal story when helped by the on-going investigation works in a great way and I was really interested in knowing what was happening there but, when suddenly this mysterious atmosphere is replaced with a demon tale I felt like I was watching a regular horror flick with some cheesy scary scenes. For a movie that started in good way, “Deliver Us from Evil” ruins the fun when the bad guy starts revealing himself which is a bit disappointing.

deliver-us-from-evil04

The last movie I saw starring Eric Bana was “The Time Traveler’s Wife” so a long time passed since the last time I saw him performing. I wasn’t expecting anything like is “Munich” amazing performance so my expectations regarding him were not high. Possibly because of the essence and energy that surrounds his character or simply because he is a cop investigating creepy incidents, I was amused every time he was on screen and his performance was probably the only enthusiastic thing in the movie. Bana’s performance is no big deal but his character shows some strength and some personal evolution during the investigation that actually made it quite interesting. While Bana intrigued me a bit, Édgar Ramírez’s character was simply not that interesting to watch. He played a priest who was Sarchie’s last resource to fight the evil entity but there was nothing more going on with him.

The visual effects are basically the revelations of the paranormal entity, so you will not see anything great except for the finale which is a bit engaging and probably one of the best exorcism scenes I’ve seen (it took about five minutes). The scary scenes are a bit frequent due to the dark atmosphere but thankfully they try to add some action to the movie with some intense fights. The story is not that frightening and I think that “Deliver Us from Evil” has more of thriller and crime than horror. Yes, “Sinister” was better and I didn’t enjoy the movie that much but with that engaging ending and with the interesting aspects I mentioned already, “Deliver Us from Evil” gave enough reasons for me to like it but unfortunately I was not in the mood for it. It’s intense and surprised me a bit by adding some action the plot but “Deliver Us from Evil” doesn’t add that much to the genre and ends up being only suitable for the horror fans.

★★½

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