The movie is based upon real life accounts of former New York police officer Ralph Sarchie, whose encounter with the possessed tested his beliefs. Along with an unlikely servant of God, he works on a case which involves three U.S. veterans, who went berserk supposedly after being possessed in Iraq three years ago. These men resorted in bizarre acts of violence toward their loved ones; thus, investigation ensues.
I first heard about this film from my co-worker, who’s a horror-movie junkie and, coincidentally, a fan of The Doors. Although I did enjoy the quick reference in the film, I did not think it was relevant at all. Without giving much away, the plot would have been fine without it. But since it’s based on a true story, then I guess it would make sense to include it.
That said: if the story was, indeed, based on real life experiences, then how much of it can you take to create a good enough film? Although the story, itself, was gripping, the movie was weak. Eric Bana’s portrayal of Sarchie wasn’t so bad, but it was clear that this is not his genre.
The animal references were too much to bear. Just like The Doors, these subtle “clues” eventually led to nowhere. The use of animals did not really give significance to the plot, but I guess when evil is upon us, there’s no saying what the possessed are capable of doing.
I was surprised to see Joel McHale in this film who, of course, provided comic relief as Sarchie’s wingman. McHale as a macho, NYPD sergeant with a sense of humor? Yes please! Edgar Ramirez plays Father Mendoza, who indulges in vices and has a dark past. He later performs the exorcism; as with any other exorcism scenes, it was exhausting to watch – but hey, that’s a good thing.