Report Card - Scott Derrickson
On 'Report Card' I choose a director or film franchise; usually one that has released a movie recently and grade them on an "A+" to "F" scale. All of the film grades will be averaged for one final score. It should be noted that this is my opinion and it's just for fun. If you agree or disagree, please comment below and I would love to have a conversation.
In anticipation of Doctor Strange this weekend, I give Director Scott Derrickson his grades:
Hellraiser: Inferno (2000)
Before Scott Derrickson got started on more original films, he tried his hand at a Hellraiser sequel. I admittedly have not seen this one, so I'm going to be averaging audience scores from IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes to come up with a grade that is as close to suitable as I can get. On RT, the film received a 2.9 out of 5, and on IMDB it logged a 5.9 out of 10. By my math this gets the gets the film around a "C-". I apologize for not actually being able to see the film, perhaps I will rectify this by renting it some night...who knows, I might have to come back to this article to adjust the score if it is not in accordance with what I think about the film.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
The Exorcism of Emily Rose is one of the few effective exorcism-related films out there. Though the film can be a tad slow at times; the acting on-point and the story is well-told. I also love the atmosphere of this film and it was the first sign that Derrickson really has a great eye for what makes a creepy scene. While not Scott Derrickson's best foray into the horror genre, it showed that this man has the chops to direct a satisfying and effective horror film.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
This is not quite as bad as I remember it, but it's still a pretty lame remake. I also don't think anyone was asking for this film. There are a couple of cool sequences and I'm a die-hard Keanu Reeves fan, but it's just not enough to save this film from being excessively bland and cheesy. While The Day the Earth Stood Still is one of the more forgettable films out there, it's never offensively bad, just aggressively bland.
This is one of my favorite horror films of all time. Sinister is a movie that gets under your skin right from the start with a premise that is so ripe for scares that I never felt safe for a moment during the film's duration. The various tapes that depict different murders that are linked to a malicious demon are unsettling, and when complimented by one of the creepiest soundtracks out there; they're absolutely terrifying. This is Scott Derrickson at the peak of his horror capabilities, and it's too bad he didn't have more of a hand in the second one.
Deliver Us From Evil (2014)
Maybe Scott Derrickson should have stopped with the exorcism-themed films after Emily Rose, but no, I guess he thought there was more gas in the tank for another one. Sure, there are some suitably creepy moments in this film and I like the buddy-cop dynamic to the film. That said, the film is sloppily put-together and the dialogue is really cliched and on-the-nose. Plus, we've just seen exorcism movies way too many times at this point and the well as long since dried up.
Scott Derrickson hasn't exactly had the best track record, but he's shown some glimmers of being a truly gifted filmmaker. I don't know where Sinister came from, but that was a work of mad genius. I think Marvel must have seen that glimmer, as they handed him the reigns to the massive-in-scope Doctor Strange, which looks like it's receiving some glowing reception from critics. Overall, Scott Derrickson might not have best filmography, but his story is far from over and I feel his best work is yet to come.
If you like this series, be sure to check out my previous submissions: James Wan, Todd Phillips, The Marvel Cinematic Universe (Phase 1) and The Marvel Cinematic Universe (Phase 2)