Deliver Us

Deliver Us poster

Dispatched from St Petersburg for “verification of a divine event,” Father Fox is reticent to accept his assignment, already planning to leave the priesthood, move to Canada and marry Laura, pregnant with his child, but for reasons unexplained he has been asked for by name by Sister Yulia, a former mental patient who is herself pregnant in what she claims to be an immaculate conception, twin boys who she says talk to her from within the womb, one of which she believes is good and the other evil.

The monastery isolated both geographically and in its predictably stern and regressive attitudes, Father Saul observes with his one good eye but remains silent, while ancient language expert Cardinal Rossi is more engaged, his concerns with the implications of prophecy beyond the scholarly as Yulia’s due date approaches, she suffering from nightmares of tattooed skin flayed from the body, hung and cured and stitched into an obscene book, while outside the walls the world slips further into madness.

Deliver Us; Sister Yulia (Maria Vera Ratti) suffers the pain of her burden alone.

A religious horror directed by Cru Ennis and Lee Roy Kunz who also co-wrote with Kane Kunz and stars as Father Fox alongside Jaune Kimmel as Laura and Deep Space Nine’s Alexander Siddig as Cardinal Rossi, Deliver Us has cloisters illuminated by candlelight, weeping statues of the virgin, stigmata and sacrifices but doesn’t know how to fit them together into a coherent story, with Infinity Pool‘s Thomas Kretschmann particularly wasted, Father Saul doing little more than lurking in the shadows and Maria Vera Ratti passive in the patriarchal proceedings despite Sister Yulia being the divine vessel.

Father Fox’s standing as both an expert in ancient languages and an experienced exorcist asserted rather than convincingly demonstrated, he begins with simple questions and debunking, pointing out that nearby hot water pipes could cause condensation on the statue, but further investigation of pertinent facts such as rumour that Sister Yulia was far from a virgin before she joined the order are abandoned when he stumbles upon a blood sacrifice ritual conducted by Father Saul and his followers.

Deliver Us; Father Fox (Lee Roy Kunz) and Sister Yulia (Maria Vera Ratti) enjoy dinner and conversation with Cardinal Rossi (Alexander Rossi).

The foretold birth of the Antichrist a recurring theme from Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen to the more recent Consecration, while attempting to bring real world concerns to the mythology with a backdrop of news reports of global warming and rising tides Deliver Us struggles to separate meaning from the noise as much as Laura’s late uncle whom she describes as a doomsday prepper but based on the evidence of his abandoned home which becomes their convenient hideout seemed more like a junk hoarder.

His paintings forming part of the prophecy, given their importance it might have benefitted the narrative had they been clearly shown rather than obscured in the perpetual gloom, the film not so much moody as muddy with dialogue too often whispered and any sense of the burden of existential dread as misplaced as the full Moon which hangs over the winter forest, incongruous as the immediately following solar eclipse cannot take place until fourteen days later rather than the fourteen hours depicted, a visual intended to convey atmosphere yet excommunicated from understanding, Deliver Us as disappointing and meaningless as any prophecy.

Deliver Us will be available on digital download from Monday 19th February

Deliver Us; Sister Yulia (Maria Vera Ratti) Father Fox (Lee Roy Kunz) dream of each other, visions of temptation tormenting them.



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