Olivia Munn on ‘Deliver Us From Evil’, Horror Films, and a Creepy VHS Tape

Olivia Munn Deliver Us From Evil Interview
Olivia Munn at the 2014 WonderCon (Photo © Richard Chavez)

By Rebecca Murray

Right before our interview Olivia Munn had told a journalist that her favorite horror films are those based on true stories, which works out well considering the fact she stars in Screen Gems’ Deliver Us From Evil based on NY police officer Ralph Sarchie’s personal experiences. Deliver Us From Evil was adapted by Scott Derrickson and Paul Harris Boardman (Derrickson also directed the film) from Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool’s book and will be heading to theaters on July 2, 2014. And at the 2014 WonderCon in Anaheim, Munn explained why she prefers her scares to come from real sources and what it was like working on Deliver Us From Evil.

Olivia Munn Interview

You only like horror movies based on true stories. Why?

Olivia Munn: “Not just me, because it’s my business, but all of us with the internet, we’re all so knowledgeable about entertainment and movies and film, it’s kind of like knowing how the sausage is made. It’s not that exciting. You don’t want to eat it anymore. You’re like, ‘I know what that’s made of.’ So when they’re based on something that’s true, it’s really scary because you know that this actually happened. It’s not just a figment of somebody’s imagination.

I love being scared so this movie, the fact that it was based on the true accounts of an NYPD officer, that blew my mind. It’s one thing when people do it…people do exorcisms or people do their own stories…but the fact that it’s the NYPD, it’s an official organization, it’s the police department of New York, that they actually used exorcism as a tactic at one point. I actually got to see some of the locked-away VHS tapes that aren’t on YouTube and you wouldn’t see anywhere. Eric Bana told me about it. He said he couldn’t sleep for three weeks so instantly I had to watch it. He said, ‘You can not watch this.’ I said, ‘Now I have to watch it more. If you tell me I can not watch something, I have to watch it.’ He made a deal. He said, ‘You can only watch them once we’re done shooting because you won’t be able to sleep.’ I watched it as soon as we got done shooting and I literally could only watch half of one tape and I was done. It’s the stuff that’s in the movie.


I took my best guy friend to see a screening of it and he had to pop a Xanax afterwards. He said to – and he knew it was based on a true story – and he said, ‘I love you and I will support you in everything you do, but I will never watch this movie again.'”

That’s a hell of a reaction.

Olivia Munn: “I know, and it’s because it’s so scary.”

Did you read the book or do any backstory research?

Olivia Munn: “Once I got the role, then I did read the book, yeah. All of the super scary parts in our movie are just directly taken out of real life from these people. Scott [the director] told me this great phrase. He said, ‘What’s the difference between fact and fiction? Fiction doesn’t have to make sense.’ So sometimes you look at it like, ‘That can’t be real,’ but sometimes the most real stuff is the stuff you can’t explain.”

Do you think the audience has to go into this as believers?

Olivia Munn: “No. I went in as a non-believer and I went out asking questions. And then I, on the other side, believe. I went in not believing and now I believe.”

What did writer/director Scott Derrickson bring to this project that helped you out?

Olivia Munn: “You know what’s so great about working with Scott is it’s a science. It’s the timing of it. He knows how to make you scream. He knows how to scare you and you learn a lot from being there. It’s the people at the top of their game…that’s what I found is that the people that I work with Aaron Sorkin, Jon Stewart, Bruckheimer, Soderbergh, people at the top of their game, they’re the most collaborative. They don’t need to overexert themselves. They are up for hearing opinions and talking things out with people and that’s what’s so great about Scott. We were all in it together.”

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