To actress Olivia Munn, “Deliver Us From Evil” is more than just another horror film. Because the exorcism crime-thriller is based on a true story, it helped renew Munn’s faith in God.
During the film’s WonderCon Anaheim 2014 panel, Munn explained that an incident in 2011 made her lose her formerly strong faith in religion, though the movie has since helped her regain it. When Zap2it spoke with “The Newsroom” star following the panel, she opened up for the first time about the incident, a near-death experience that made her rethink her life.
“It was in an almost plane crash,” she says. “We were in a private plane. People were saying their prayers, throwing back a Scotch, trying to send an e-mail to a friend. The flight attendant is on her knees crying as the plane is about to go into the water, and it pulls out literally [in the] last 10 seconds. I felt when I was going down, I had the feeling of ‘that’s it.’ I had a calming feeling of, ‘OK.’ Like, ‘This is happening.’ Then that was in 2011, and then now I completely believe again.”
It was seeing the tapes of the real-life exorcisms, which inspired “Deliver Us From Evil,” that helped Munn start exploring her religious side again, she says. The movie is based on the book “Beware the Night” by retired NYPD veteran Ralph Sarchie, who in real life teamed up with an exorcist to explore paranormal crimes in South Bronx.
Director Scott Derrickson studied the NYPD exorcism tapes when he was making “Deliver Us From Evil,” and showed them to stars Eric Bana and Munn. The footage Munn saw brought her to tears, and she says it was such proof of demonic possession that made her start seriously rethinking her world view.
“The guy is sitting in his straitjacket and he’s shaking, and all of the sudden his forehead splits open and then just blood starts coming down,” she recalls of one video she watched. “The guy’s sitting there shaking, and he’s drooling, and all of the sudden the drool goes from spit, and as soon as it hits his white straitjacket, it turns into blood. I’m watching and it’s grainy video, but you see it. It’s so intense. I started crying when I was watching that. It was instant, and then I shut it off, and you do feel like you’re f***ing with the devil when you open up to that s***.”
Munn says she’s now become close with “Long Island Medium’s” Theresa Caputo, and is once again as religious as she was before her near-death experience. She also is just as avid a fan of horror films after making her first in “Deliver Us From Evil.”
“I only love horror movies based on true stories, because the other ones where they’re not, they can’t really scare me if it comes just from somebody’s imagination,” Munn says. “My best guy friend came with me to a screening of ‘Deliver Us From Evil.’ Afterwards he had to pop a Xanax, and then he said to me, ‘I love you, and I will support anything you do, but I will never watch this movie again.'”
“Deliver Us From Evil” hits theaters on July 2, 2014.