Movie Briefly: Deliver Us From Evil (2006)

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Deliver Us From Evil is a documentary, but it could be filed in the video store under the horror section. Few fictional bogeymen in the history of movies can hold a candle to a real-life monster like Oliver O’Grady, a former Catholic priest and serial child molester.

Director Amy Berg finds him living quietly in Ireland, defrocked and deported, but free to roam and interact with more children. O’Grady’s aware of his crimes yet eerily oblivious to their impact, and even hopes at one point that his former victims will come visit him, absolve him, and shake his hand (or give him what he really wants, a hug. Um, ew).

Still, as shocking as O’Grady’s nonchalant recollections might be, they’re nothing compared to the revelations contained in the legal depositions of his former church supervisors, who covered up his earliest crimes and facilitated his later ones by moving him from parish to parish rather than addressing the problem. Their squirmy, evasive testimony gives new meaning to the idea of religious confession.

The movie’s not perfect, particularly during a third act that flails about desperately for some sort of uplifting ending. Then again, these flaws only make Deliver Us From Evil scarier, by reinforcing how, in cases like this, true closure is impossible.


Matt Singer covers the world of film for the Independent Film Channel. He's also a regular contributor to their website, IFC.com. His personal blog is Termite Art. More from this author →