Scott Derrickson has directed a number of major films, including notable contributions to his beloved horror genre: The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister. And he was recently tapped to direct the upcoming Marvel film Dr. Strange.
We interviewed Derrickson—a Christian with a love for mystery—nearly a decade ago, and in 2002 he wrote an article ("Behind the Lens") for the Christian Century about inhabiting the world of American filmmaking as a Christian. Derrickson has also taught seminar workshops about film noir at IMAGEJournal's Glen Workshop. When he's speaking of his work, Derrickson references the biblical injunction to expose evil with light—a compelling sensibility in the world of cinema.
Derrickson's latest film, Deliver Us from Evil, releases this Wednesday, July 2. It's inspired by Beware the Night, a memoir that chronicles Ralph Sarchie's time as a sergeant in the New York City Police Department. Sarchie worked in the South Bronx, where he began investigating cases of paranormal activity and demonic possession. A devout Catholic, Sarchie is said to have made over 300 arrests and won 7 medals (he's since retired from the NYPD), while also assisting in over 20 exorcisms.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Derrickson after seeing Deliver Us from Evil. He was generous with his time and engaging in his interaction.
What has drawn you to Ralph Sarchie's story for so many years—such that when studio executives came to you after Sinister and asked what you wanted to do next, this project was at the top of your list?
I stayed in touch with Ralph over the years, and I think it was the guy—the person himself—and the fact that he ...