Is Deliver Us From Evil Based On a True Story

Is Deliver Us From Evil Based On a True Story

Is Deliver Us From Evil Based On a True Story -: We all love a good spine-tingling horror film, especially when it claims to be based on real-life events. “Deliver Us From Evil,” directed by Scott Derrickson, is one such movie that promises to be inspired by true events. But just how much of it is rooted in reality, and how much is Hollywood fiction?

Is Deliver Us From Evil Based On a True Story
Is Deliver Us From Evil Based On a True Story

The Movie’s Claim

“Deliver Us From Evil” proudly claims to be based on a true story. It follows NYPD Special Operations Sergeant Ralph Sarchie, portrayed by Eric Bana, as he joins forces with Father Mendoza, played by Édgar Ramírez, to combat a case of demonic possession that’s been terrorizing New York City. The film’s marketing campaign emphasized its inspiration from actual accounts and a non-fiction book, “Beware the Night” by Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool.

Is Deliver Us From Evil Based On a True Story

The Reality Behind Ralph Sarchie

Let’s start by getting to know the real person behind the character Ralph Sarchie. Ralph Sarchie was a genuine NYPD cop. He was born in 1962 in New York City and served for almost two decades as an NYPD sergeant in the South Bronx precinct. During his time in the force, he was part of the Street Crime Unit and worked undercover to prevent in-progress crimes. Sarchie’s story takes an interesting twist because, in addition to his work as a cop, he was a demonologist.

Sarchie described himself as a “committed Christian” and carried wooden Christian crosses and holy water with him when responding to cases of demonic infestation around the city. He even assisted in Christian exorcisms. So, in the movie, what Ralph Sarchie does isn’t too far from the truth. He did have a unique side gig as a demonologist, something you wouldn’t typically associate with a tough NYPD cop.

Ralph Sarchie’s Real-Life Experiences

While promoting “Deliver Us From Evil,” Sarchie revealed that he retired after a divorce and had been out of the demonology field for several years. He returned to work refreshed and with a different perspective. In a teaser for the documentary “Sarchie,” he mentioned that he had assisted in over 20 exorcisms and later told USA Today that he had been involved in 25 exorcisms and conducted “hundreds” of house exorcisms.

What’s intriguing is that he had tapes of these exorcisms, some of which were shown in the documentary. However, he maintained strict confidentiality for his clients, not revealing the recordings. Keep in mind that these numbers are from 2014, so we don’t know if he has been involved in more exorcisms since then.

Father Mendoza: Fact or Fiction?

In “Deliver Us From Evil,” Ralph Sarchie joins forces with Father Mendoza, a Jesuit priest who plays a pivotal role in uncovering the supernatural forces at play. Unlike Ralph Sarchie, Father Mendoza is not based on a real priest. He is instead inspired by two real-life individuals: Bishop Robert McKenna and Father Malachi Martin, both of whom were mentors to Sarchie.

Bishop Robert McKenna, a sedeprivationist bishop who performed exorcisms, was the inspiration behind Father Mendoza. Some of his cases were even investigated by psychic researchers, including the famous Ed and Lorraine Warren. Father Malachi Martin, on the other hand, was a priest, biblical archaeologist, exorcist, and writer who wrote about exorcisms in his books. His best-known work is “Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Living Americans.” However, it’s important to note that opinions about the accuracy of his accounts vary.

Is Deliver Us From Evil Based On a True Story

How the Movie Differs From Reality

While Ralph Sarchie is indeed a real person who has assisted in exorcisms and worked as a demonologist, “Deliver Us From Evil” is a work of fiction. Director Scott Derrickson admitted that he took elements from Sarchie’s book that he found most interesting and wove them into a fictional narrative. The main storyline is entirely fictional, connecting unrelated individual cases from Sarchie’s book.

Derrickson aimed to capture the essence of who Ralph Sarchie is, how he thinks, and talks, and how his experiences have changed him as a person. He incorporated this into the film’s portrayal of Sarchie. So, while the character’s personality may be true to life, the specific events in the movie are pure fiction.

Ralph Sarchie’s Connection to Ed & Lorraine Warren

Ralph Sarchie’s work as a demonologist naturally brought him into contact with famous paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens, known for their investigations and writings about paranormal phenomena, founded the New England Society for Psychic Research (NESPR) in the 1950s. Ralph Sarchie contacted Lorraine Warren to express his admiration, which led to an interesting twist of fate.

Through Lorraine Warren, Sarchie discovered that one of her investigators, Joe Forrester, lived just two blocks away from him. Believing it was more than a coincidence, Sarchie reached out to Joe, and they became friends and work partners, attending various cases together. Sarchie even attended seminars given by the Warrens, visited their Connecticut home, and assisted them with their investigations. With the Warrens’ approval, Sarchie and Forrester established the NYC chapter of NESPR. However, this fascinating connection was not explored in “Deliver Us From Evil.”

Is Deliver Us From Evil Based On a True Story

In Conclusion

So, is “Deliver Us From Evil” based on a true story? The answer is both yes and no. While the film is inspired by the life of Ralph Sarchie, a real NYPD cop who also worked as a demonologist, the movie takes creative liberties to craft a thrilling, fictional narrative. It combines elements from Sarchie’s experiences with supernatural cases into a larger, interconnected story that aims to captivate and terrify the audience.

Ultimately, whether you believe the supernatural elements or not, “Deliver Us From Evil” serves its purpose as an entertaining horror film. Just remember, the next time you watch a movie claiming to be based on true events, there’s often more to the story than meets the eye, and a healthy dose of skepticism is always a good companion to have in the dark theater.


Is the movie Deliver Us From Evil based on real events?

Yes, the movie “Deliver Us From Evil” claims to be based on real events and is inspired by the experiences of Ralph Sarchie, a former NYPD cop and demonologist.

Is the 2014 movie Deliver Us From Evil based on a true story?

The movie “Deliver Us From Evil” is indeed based on the real-life experiences of Ralph Sarchie, although it takes creative liberties to craft a fictional narrative.

What case was Deliver Us From Evil based on?

The movie “Deliver Us From Evil” combines elements from Ralph Sarchie’s experiences with various supernatural cases but weaves them into a fictional storyline. It doesn’t specifically focus on one single case.

Who is the demon in Deliver Us From Evil?

In the movie “Deliver Us From Evil,” the main antagonist demon remains unnamed. It’s portrayed as a malevolent and powerful supernatural force terrorizing the characters.

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