Director: Ole Bornedal
Starring: Lasse Rimmer, Lene Nystrøm, Mogens Pedersen, Jens Andersen, Bojan Navojec
Duration: 100 min.
Lars and Johannes are brothers with very little in common. Johannes is a high-powered lawyer with a beautiful wife and two children; Lars is a truck driver and a drunken brute who beats his girlfriend. Having returned to his hometown in the country, Johannes hopes for a less hectic, more genuine lifestyle. But trouble is underfoot when Lars runs over a woman with his truck. He sees only one way out: put the blame on Alain, a Bosnian refugee with impaired mental functions. But when Lars, the God-fearing husband of the victim, and his friends close in on the Bosnian, Johannes stands up for the man and shelters him. Undeterred, the violent, drunken horde makes their way to Johannes´ secluded house, where the family and Alain fear for their lives. When words no longer suffice to contain the madness, a siege begins, in which unchained anarchy dictates a scenario of terror…
Deliver Us From Evil is a Danish film written and directed by Ole Bornedal. It is set in the Danish countryside, after a young father moves back to his hometown with his family, where circumstances soon follow that force him to face a mob of brutal and xenophobic locals.
On the surface this is a stylish thriller both beautiful and brutal, with events that bring to mind Sam Peckinpah's 1971 classic Straw Dogs. But this one maintains a certain tone that prevents it from reaching the same emotional and psychological impact of its predecessor.
Perhaps it's the super saturated high contrast cinematography, that while absolutely stunning, just gives the film an artificial MTV music video feel. Or the cast of one dimensional cliched characters (including Lene Nystrøm the actress formerly known as Aqua) who all play predictable roles. Or the strange choice for a narrator whose fourth-wall-breaking introduction of the story makes it seem like it's a family comedy and not a gripping thriller that is about to unfold.
Either way, the result is a brutally violent climactic showdown that may be visceral and exciting, but lacks the grit or the emotional involvement that would have made this one a classic in its own right.