Add a Review

  • Xenophobia. Xen-o-pho-bi-a. Noun: an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange. The definition of the word does not only describe in one word the main theme of Ole Bornedal's latest film but also the vast majority of main and supportive characters that appear in the story. The writer/director of "Nattevagten" – which still stands as one of the best European thrillers ever made according to yours truly – serves us a simplistic and sadly identifiable story, set in a remote little community where everyone knows and accepts each other but distrusts and reject outsiders. Imagine yourself the type of place where a traumatized war fugitive tries hard to fit in and accept jobs that nobody else wants, but at the same time the local drunks and lowlifes complain that these immigrants are stealing their jobs. This is a controversial but sadly all too familiar topic, and it takes a talented and courageous director to make a confronting – albeit sometimes grotesque and exaggerated – movie out of it.

    Johannes and his family return back to his birthplace in the countryside, where they bought an old mansion that he is renovating with the more than welcome help of a Bosnian fugitive named Alain. Most of the town folks are marginal proletarians, however, like Johannes' brother Lars who's an alcoholic, pregnant girlfriend beating truck driver. On the day before the town's annual highlight – a carnival with a beer tent – Lars runs his truck over a sweet old granny who was on her way to the chapel on her moped. Lars frames Bosnian immigrant Alain for her death, which instantly causes the entire town to go on an aggressive and drunken manhunt. Johannes is the only person protecting Alain and they all entrench themselves in the house as the outrageous lynch mob arrives.

    I watched "Deliver Us From Evil" at the Belgian Festival of Fantastic Films, where Ole Bornedal was present to introduce the movie himself. He said this was probably the most brutal movie he'd ever make. He's right, of course, but there simply isn't any other way to tell such a raw and shocking but sadly realistic story. According to Bornedal, the media and politicians want to make us believe that bad people only live in the Middle Eastern area, but this movie and its crude but recognizable characters prove otherwise. The comparisons with Sam Peckinpah's early 70's classic "Straw Dogs" are more than justified. Both film slowly but uncannily build up towards a shocking climax that only leaves behind victims. The dead and dying can't repent for the type of sins they committed and even the survivors won't be able to live happily ever after. If you decide to watch "Deliver Us From Evil", prepare yourself for devastating viewing experience, with a continuously unpleasant atmosphere and a number of truly gritty images, that will spook through your head for several more days. But it's more than worth it.
  • Swacs-Man4 December 2009
    The newest Ole Bornedal film is a continued exploration of styles, themes and content not normally associated with Danish cinema. Following the awesome meta-film noir 'Just Another Love Story' and the great children's horror/sci-fi 'The Substitute', 'Deliver Us from Evil' is like no Scandinavian film you've ever seen before. Not to say that this is a wholly original work of art, it's not, however, the combination of all the elements makes it unique as a Danish movie.

    In the story, not too dissimilar to Straw dogs, we're in hillbilly territory, where one man tries to do the right thing and has to defend himself and his family against outsiders. Everyone accept the main family acts extremely over the top in a wonderful dramatic way but still strangely rooted in Danish society. You are in disbelief but still you feel that these obnoxious, unpleasant characters could be quite real.

    The cinematography by Danish legend Dan Lausten is nothing short of brilliant and all actors shine, even though most of them are cast against type or comes from different backgrounds than movies. 'Deliver Us from Evil' is so well made on all accounts that it can only be described as a Danish masterpiece. It wouldn't necessarily be a masterpiece had it been made in the US, but perfecting the western genre, flirting with horror, making social comments, all grounded in a Danish setting with thrills and kills, this is as good as it's going to get. And Ole Bornedal, once the great talent, has through recent years, enriched Danish film more than anyone, except maybe Von Trier.
  • If you wanna compare this movie with another movie, you could compare it with the classic "Straw Dogs" (Dustin Hoffman, Directed by Sam Peckinpah)! And it plays in that League, because it is really good, acting-wise and story-wise!

    Having said that, of course if you don't know what to expect, you might be disappointed, as can be seen, by another reviewer on this site. Of course he is just warning other people, that might have the same problem he had, just don't let that cloud you own judgement and if you can go and watch this little dark thriller, with more humanity than quite a few other movies with similar stories.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Lasse Rimmer delivers an amazing performance in his first movie role. This movie is full of fun, witty, dark humor, it's action-packed, the Cinematography is pretty sublime.

    This Danish Film actually has many deep cinematic moments. It now makes me want to watch all the previous movies by Ole Bornedahl. Just Another Love Story, The Substitute and I Am Dina, yup I definitely now want to go check those out. Cause the direction in this film definitely gives me a certain confidence that Ole Bornedahl is one cool danish film Director who knows how to make good film and who knows what he is doing.

    Lasse Rimmer is known in Denmark for his part in Danish TV history's funniest TV show called Casper and the Mandril appointment from 1999. It may even be the worlds best TV show ever made. I cannot wait to see Lasse Rimmer in more (ups! Beware the spoiler alert!) psycho-killer- roles (end of spoiler alert), Lasse Rimmer does it awesomely! Standing Ovation! Really!

    Denmark has deep problems with racism and integration of immigrants in actual society. If this movie can become one of the most influential and most successful Danish movies of the year, it could make a big contribution to solve this whole problem in the Danish consciousness. It does not at all try to teach viewers a lesson of morality. It instead uses racism and conflicts of social groups in such an extremely blatant manner, that one can only sit back and laugh very loudly from the belly. In fact I heard people at my screening laughing pretty loudly and strangely pretty often times, but people didn't dare make a standing-ovation, I think movie-goers should do more standing ovations even at regular film screenings in regular cinemas when the film makers are not in the room.

    Danish Cinema, as far as I see it, does also have too small an ambition to create really good fiction moments in movies, and rather goes with realistic situations. This movie instead already goes much further in the area of complete insanity, deep psychopathics, action-packed killings, awesome and fun dialogs. This is a step for Danish movies that goes in my opinion in the right direction. Go at it!
  • "Deliver Us From Evil" is a Danish film written and directed by Ole Bornedal. The film 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 defend his family, and the way they live their life as well. 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." However, "Deliver Us From Evil," maintains a certain tone that prevents it from reaching the same emotional and psychological impact of its predecessor.

    Lars (Jens Andersen) and Johannes (Lasse Rimmer), are brothers with very little in common. Johannes is a high-powered lawyer with a beautiful wife and two children; Lars is a drunken truck driver 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 (Bojan Navojec), a Bosnian refugee with impaired mental functions. Led by the dead woman's husband, a retired colonel whose son was killed in the Serbian theater, the town's population of angry drunks and bitter workingmen instantly jump at the chance to crucify the outsider, but Johannes stands in their way, motivated by his sense of amorality. Undeterred, the violent, drunken horde makes their way to Johannes' secluded house, where the family and Alain fear for their lives. The house is converted into a fortress, where the madness and siege begins.

    An engaging, yet over determined setup, the movie does little to complicate. What few twists in the story that exist, don't add to much of anything shocking or memorable. Perhaps it's the saturated high contrast of the cinematography, that while absolutely stunning, it gives the film an artificial feel. The cast is of one-dimensional clichéd characters, who all play predictable roles. The strange choice for a narrator whose introduction of the story makes it seem like it's a family comedy, and not a gripping thriller that is about to unfold. The end 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.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The peaceful rural setting for this story does not give a clue about how bad things will turn out in the end. Johannes, a successful lawyer that has returned to his origins, is working on his house. He has help from a Bosnian refugee, Alain, a man whose past conceals the tragedy he has lived. Alain has come to Denmark looking for the peace he never got in in native land. Johannes' wife Pernille is seen early in the story trying to teach her two children to be accepting of other people that might not think like them.

    Everything changes in the serene landscape as Lars, brother of Johannes, and a long distance truck driver, gets distracted on the road and hits Anna, a woman that is kindness personified. Lars panics after he finds the crushed body and decides to get it out of the road to erase his crime. Getting rid of the evidence is not easy. He decides to keep some of the bloody pamphlets that Anna was carrying when she was struck.

    Lars, who is a drunkard, hangs out with guys that, like him, love womanizing and drinking. As Lars comes into town, he spots Alain, whom he despises because he considers an interloper in his country, aggravated by the fact the man is a Muslim. Lars sees in this man a scapegoat to cover up his crime. So, in pretending to be friendly to the immigrant, he plots how to peg the killing of Anna to Alain.

    Ingvar, who employs Lars, decides to fire Lars for being late. Lars has planned to come to the town's fair with his buddies and create trouble for Alain. Getting Alain drunk, triggers a series of events in which Ingvar decides to go through the route traveled by the innocent Alain, where he discovers Anna's mangled body. Helped by Lars and his drinking partners, Ingvar decides to go after the Bosnian, who Johannes has taken home. What follows is a riot of monumental proportions because Johannes decides to stand against Ingvar and the rioters. When all is said and done, Johannes wants no more of the life style he wanted because he is disillusioned of the people he thought to be kind and welcoming.

    "Deliver Us From Evil" is a sobering account where people's prejudice and xenophobia come into being from such unexpected sources that it is shocking. Director Ole Bornedal examines a quiet community where things are gentle in a tolerating Danish society like the small town in the story. Liquor and drugs are the instruments to kindle a mob when the news of the killing of a beloved lady, the wife of a pillar of that society. The indignity to have a foreigner in their midst that can do such an evil act, sparks the reaction, fueled by losers like Lars, and his idiotic pals.

    Jens Anderson is the evil Lars, a man that shows no remorse in hiding a crime and fueling the temper of his gang to create trouble. Lasse Rimmer stands in contrast as Johannes the man that has made something out of himself. Lene Nystrom's Pernille strikes a right note, showing an affinity with the material. Mogens Pedersen and Pernille Vallentin make a valuable contribution. Dan Lautsen's cinematography enhances our enjoyment of the film, as well as the incidental musical score by Stefan Nilsson and Johan Liljedal.
  • diadara2 November 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    I love watching foreign movies, Scandinavian in particular, so I had high hopes about "Fri Os Fra Det Onde". Unfortunately, the movie falls flat on it's face. I get the feeling the director was trying to shock us more than entertain us. The actors (most of them) were not only acting poorly, but their characters behavior was non credible. I felt the whole movie was built on clichés.

    You got your village drunk who also seems to be the local hero. He beats his girlfriend, but she wants to stay with him because he gives promises about marriage. And of course, she's pregnant. The drunkard also has sidekicks, Chip 'n Dale, who do what they're told. The village idiot who everyone makes fun of because of his bad stutter. The rich couple who really doesn't belong there, and nobody likes them. They are not one of them, despite the fact that the husband is the drunkards brother. They got lots of money. And they cared for the refugee, allowing him into their home. Big no-no. The poor language impaired man from Bosnia (I think) who lost his family and accidentally does an "Of Mice and Men" thing. Beerfest, drinking contest, racism, urinating...

    Stupid and lazy police officers, a crazy elder with PTSD and last but not least, bewildered women who dances half naked around a bonfire with the not so attractive, vindictive men. Ah yes, they also rape the wealthy wife. In front of the children.

    There's only one thing unique about this movie. The story is so unbelievable it almost gets interesting from time to time. Also the cinematography is stunning.

    Maybe I'm being too harsh, but this is what I felt. I will not watch this movie again.

    P.s Lene was hot, bring Aqua back! d.s.
  • There is a tragic accident in rural Denmark. Accidents, being accidents, can't be predicted and neither can their consequences. Things escalate, but the question is how far, and why, who'll back down first, and why? At the start of the film the narrator hands out some basic background info about the major characters, so you think you understand them and you probably do to some extent, but stereotypes are a major motif here... As one character says "N***er is just a word we use for anyone who's different. They're people too". Does it matter that there's no black people in the film? Well... A bit of racial prejudice, a bit of class prejudice, some personal grudges, basically plenty of reasons for people to see the worst in each other and excuse whatever they do when caught up in a crowd. Including YOUR reasons - you're maybe an urban liberal judging these provincial types, or a refugee judging those who supposedly welcomed you, or someone who didn't get a lucky break in life judging middle class smart-arses. Scapegoats are always handy, like an excuse for a party. An excellent film, shocking and moving but with delicate and humorous moments, somehow the most poignant and supposedly banal touches seem surreal in the context of general nastiness. And no, provincial Denmark isn't really like this, it's just a film. (Having said that, sometimes I've been the only white person on a bus in London and nobody's even noticed me, but as a dark-haired stranger in the Danish countryside I've been severely stared at on buses). Anyway I digress - stop reading these reviews and watch the film. Now!
  • The only good thing about this movie was the acting from Jens Andersen which was excellent. Else this movie was just total nonsense. Exaggerated in every sense and during the entire movie I was thinking what the hell is this. It tries to describe the life of people in the suburb and trying to make it interesting, pointless exaggerated violence is created.

    For this movie Ole Bornedal really failed.

    the acting from Aqua Lene was also okay.

    Lasse Rimmer is bad casted for this movie. He is to nice guy material and gives his part a science fiction feeling
  • Vincentiu14 August 2014
    the piece who defines the movie is the profound humanity. that fact explains its status of dark sketch. because, more important than story is the admirable acting. a film who seems be a trip in middle of instincts, pain and broken masks, it is, in fact, touching exercise of self definition.the image, the script, the performances are real good. film about sin in its deep dimension, it is religious out of the ordinaries rules of genre. because it is not exactly about the faith but about the sense.because the image is the lead character. a film like a parable. cold, honest, impressing. a special story about the choices and their price. it is not a bad idea to see it. maybe, for discover the world. maybe, yourself. in a different light.