Close this search box.

Deliver Us Review: Frightless Religious Horror

A priest hugs a woman with writings on her back in the religious horror film Deliver Us

Deliver Us wants to be a horror film that derives its terror from religious imagery but does not have the dedication to a singular plot line in order to do so. 

Deliver Us seemingly has all the momentum to become a truly enrapturing religious horror film. While the film revolves around Christianity, the plot doesn’t hone in on religion in a way that isolates viewers who do not practice themselves. The involvement of the Anti-Christ almost ensures a certain level of horror to be baked into the plot. The film’s opening sequence even centers on the beheading and skinning of human sacrifices in a sincerely stomach-turning manner. And yet, by the end of the film’s runtime, you walk away shaking your head with confusion rather than shaking in terror.

Cru Ennis Lee and Roy Kunz’s film has a fairly intricate plot: Father Fox (Lee Roy Junz), a young priest, is called upon to investigate a Russian nun who claims immaculate conception has resulted in her pregnancy with twin boys. Upon showing up to the remote covenant, Father Fox is informed by Cardinal Russo (Alexander Siddig) the covenant believes this so-called miracle is actually fulfilling an ancient prophecy that one day, a virgin will give birth to twin boys, one being the Messiah and the other being the Anti-Christ. Sister Yulia (Maria Vera Ratti), the nun in question, tells Father Fox she is in danger and that her unborn children tell her things she has no way of knowing, such as how to speak English in order to communicate with him. She wants to have her children but is under duress as the men in her covenant will do whatever it takes to destroy the Anti-Christ as it is prophesied to one day try to kill the Messiah resulting in the end of days.  

When we meet Father Fox, he is in the process of leaving the priesthood to be an active father figure to his pregnant partner, Laura’s (Jaune Kimmel), unborn child. Usually tasked with exorcism, he says he wants to leave the priesthood because he’d rather be a good Christian rather than a bad priest. When he meets Sister Yulia, this moral question of his is sprung into action as he is forced to either go against the cloth and kill the Anti-Christ before it attempts to kill the Messiah or be a good Christian and instead protect the Messiah from the Anti-Christ without having to kill any child. 

A priest and a cardinal argue over a map in the religious horror film Deliver Us
Deliver Us (Altitude Films)

What sticks out the most within this film is the complete lack of dedication to one singular plot line. Father Fox, Cardinal Russo and Sister Yulia break free of the covenant that is determined to destroy Yulia’s children before they are born and from that moment on the plot completely collapses into itself. Laura comes back into the story and conveniently has a house where her late grandfather would paint pictures foreshadowing the events that occur in the rest of the film. For some reason, there is a one-eyed priest, the same one-eyed priest who was doing human sacrifices in the beginning of the film, who is unrelenting in his mission to kill the Anti-Christ.

I say “for some reason,” because at no point in the film is it explained who he is, why he sacrificed those people in the beginning of the film, his business with that particular covenant, how he joined this quest or any further questions that his character could spark. I understand one of Sister Yulia’s children is the literal Anti-Christ and why a hyper-religious character would want to destroy that child but only because of my own ability to put one and two together, not because the film explains a single thing about this particular character that serves as the main (I supposed besides for the Anti-Christ itself) antagonist. 

Furthermore, a plot line breaks out and runs free about Laura’s family being oil tycoons and their local town being outraged to the point of protest over the way this factory is poisoning the water supply. The town sees Laura’s family’s business as being a giant contributing factor in what everyone else on the planet seems to think is the end of days for humanity, but only the audience knows is being caused because the Anti-Christ has been reborn. 

Deliver Us: Trailer (Altitude Films)

There are simply so many concepts that are shoved into this film it becomes confusing to keep track of what is going on. At one point Father Fox begins to pray over a character that is brutally injured and I honestly forgot he was a priest for a moment because that storyline seemed to be dropped almost completely at that point. In the final act of the film, there is also an extremely strange and completely out of place, almost exact reenactment, of the “Here’s Johnny” scene from The Shining that cemented for me this film’s lack of understanding about what it wanted to be. 

At first, the film felt relatively promising. The concept was interesting, the religious horror aspect made for some eerie scenes. Father Fox seemed poised to be set up as a modern and complex character, really struggling between his sense of self and devotion to his religion. But the film falls victim to overambition without a clear direction of where to go and what to say. Its brutality and nudity quickly becomes seen as cheap tricks to try and get a rise out of audiences but has no artistic direction behind it. By the end of the film, I would assume Deliver Us would want you to contemplate one of the moral queries that was lazily baked into the film’s overzealous dialogue, but instead, you will end up asking yourself what you just watched. 

Get it on Apple TV

Deliver Us is now available to watch on digital platforms. Read our reviews of other recent religious horror movies: Thine Ears Shall Bleed, The Devil’s Bath, The Exorcism (2024), The Exorcist: Believer, The Last Rite, Prey for the Devil, and Skeletons in the Closet!

The Pope’s Exorcist: Film Review – Loud And Clear Reviews
Film Review: Russell Crowe’s unintentionally campy performance isn’t enough to save The Pope’s Exorcist from its mediocre frights.
Thank you for reading us! If you’d like to help us continue to bring you our coverage of films and TV and keep the site completely free for everyone, please consider a donation.