Deliver Us from Evil (2006)

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Released 3-Oct-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Theatrical Trailer-Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 99:05 (Case: 101)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Amy Berg
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Adam
Jeff Anderson
Case Degroot
Jane Degroot
Thomas Doyle
Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
Bill Hodgman
Anne Jyono
Bob Jyono
Maria Jyono
Frank Keating
John Manley
Oliver O'Grady
Case ?
RPI $34.95 Music Joseph Arthur
Mick Harvey


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

   Deliver Us From Evil is a compelling and deeply disturbing documentary about Oliver O'Grady, a Catholic priest who sexually assaulted children in his United States congregations over a period of two decades. The number of his victims is believed to be in the hundreds, with the youngest only 9 months of age. Although his crimes were repulsive, despicable and monstrous, the reaction of the Catholic church was worse: instead of removing him from the church and having charges pressed, his crimes were covered up and he was moved to different congregations, where he was able to continue.

   Deliver Us From Evil is a fascinating and horrifying documentary. We begin by being introduced to the Father and some of his victims, describing him before his crimes came to light, then we follow a timeline as the church covered up his actions and moved him from place to place, denying all of his behaviour without question. Just some of the many families and lives ruined by his abuse are presented, intercut with actual interview footage of Oliver O'Grady, who shows sympathy for what happened but no empathy for his victims at all, as if he has little understanding of what he did. Additional courtroom footage of Cardinal Roger Mahoney, who is presented as being just as much to blame for the crimes as he refused to protect the children and families placed in danger, as well as other members of the Catholic Church who refused to even admit the occurrence of said crimes to protect themselves from controversy. Finally, the film follows some of the victims to Rome, where they want an apology or even some kind of recognition from the Catholic Church as to what happened to them and where they are quickly turned down.

   This film is one of the few to receive a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and it isn't hard to see why - its subject is particularly painful and hard-hitting, and the documentary does it justice, never resorting to shock tactics or gratuitous material; it also avoids discriminating against Catholicism as a religion, presenting a voice of reason in Father Tom Doyle, who follows the victims to Rome to oversee an apology from the church, and then delivers one himself when the Pope refuses. However, it is not perfect, and its imperfections are maddening - the film often seems unfocussed and doesn't always clearly deliver the facts; footage will often be cut up and presented out of sequence, when it would be much more effective to show entire portions of interviews and courtroom scenes and so forth. However, the scenes that are incredibly emotional and impactful work well enough to overcome any issues, and I believe it is an important film to see.

   Deliver Us From Evil is not an easy film to watch, but it is one worth seeing, as a document of how far corruption and human evil can go, unstopped by an institution claiming to be divine.

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Transfer Quality

Video

   The video is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

   The video transfer is good, remaining constantly sharp and detailed, but it is unfortunately often plagued by grain and interlacing. Many scenes have heavy aliasing (3:35) because of this; it appears a lot of the film was transferred from NTSC.

   As there are lots of different video stock used in this documentary, the quality of the transfer often changes from scene to scene, but in general even the low-grade video looks good. There are no film artefacts, and any issues present do not affect the viewing experience.

   There are English subtitles, which are accurate and readable.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

   The audio is presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0.

   Even though the 5.1 mix is preferable to the 2.0, there is little usage of a full surround or the subwoofer. The quality of the audio is just a little better in the 5.1, presenting a more engrossing experience, though only a direct comparison will reveal the differences.

   The music, effects and dialogue are all well-mixed and audible. The music, composed by Joseph Arthur and Mick Harvey, is very effective, featuring a lot of religious music and themes that keep the film emotional and on subject.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Animated Menus with Sound

   The menus for this film are excellent, featuring a close up of Oliver O'Grady and music from the film.

Theatrical Trailer (2:20)

   This excellent trailer is presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

Forced Trailers Upon Start Up - The US VS. John Lennon, Lucky You, The Reaping

   Putting the DVD in to play starts unskippable trailers for various other Lionsgate films. These feature particularly ugly interlacing, though are presented in their original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and are 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

Unfortunately for us, the R1 DVD wins over our barebones release with a fantastic set of extra features. We miss out on:

- Commentary by writer-director-producer Amy Berg and editor-producer Matthew Cooke

- 11 deleted scenes

- Alternate ending

- Featurette "Bible vs. Church"

I recommend acquiring an R1 DVD to view this film.

Summary

   Deliver Us From Evil is a fascinating and horrifying documentary that should be seen.

   The video and audio transfers are good, but not spectacular.

   Aside from the theatrical trailer, there are no extras, which is deeply disappointing, especially considering the controversy surrounding this film. I would have very much liked to have seen more about the making of this film.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ryan Aston (Bioshock)
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDLG LH-D6230, using Component output
DisplayBenq PE7700. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationLG
Speakers B&W LCR 600 S3 (Front & Centre); B&W DM 600 (Rears); B&W ASW500 (Sub)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
R1 has other bonus features - ozcanuck REPLY POSTED
Courage - REPLY POSTED
Courage ?? - Bran (my bio, or something very like it)
Courage ?? -