In Scott Derrickson’s horror film ‘Deliver Us from Evil,’ Jungler is the demonic entity that possesses Mick Santino, a Marine veteran who becomes a serial killer in New York City. When NYPD cop Ralph Sarchie struggles to figure out the paranormal mystery behind Santino, he teams up with Father Mendoza, a Jesuit priest who performs an exorcist to figure out that the demon that entered Santino’s body is Jungler. The demon transforms the veteran into a homicidal maniac with enormous potency, making us intrigued about the same. If you are eager to know more about the demon as well, here’s what we can share! SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Demonic Mass Murderer
Jungler is a demonic entity that occupies the body of Mick Santino when the latter serves in the Marines during the Iraq War. While investigating a cave, Santino comes across a set of scriptures written on a wall, only to get exposed to the entity. After departing from the Marines, Santino ends up in New York City and becomes a serial killer, controlled by Jungler. The entity is presented as something with enormous strength and durability, which explains why Santino is able to fight both Ralph Sarchie and his partner Butler when they set out to capture him.
But the most significant feature of Jungler is its ability to brainwash people around it. The demon convinces Santino’s former colleague David Griggs to kill himself by drinking paint thinner and Jane Crenna to murder her own child by throwing it to the lions at a zoo. Jungler craves death and it easily finds a way to persuade others to commit murders to be satisfied. Jenna and David do not even put up a fight against the entity when the same brainwashes them. Similarly, the demonic entity has also enough combat skills to deal with individuals who threaten the same.
When Father Mendoza sets out to dispel Jungler from the body of Santino, the demonic entity fights back the exorcist. In addition to trying to brainwash him by saying that he has a son, Jungler attempts to physically fight the priest and Sarchie upon getting locked up at the latter’s police station. Furthermore, the entity tries to open gateways for other demons to enter the world through the same inscription Santino discovers in Iraq.
A Made-Up Demon
Jungler is a fictional demon conceived by Scott Derrickson and co-screenwriter Paul Harris Boardman for the film. Although the horror drama is partially based on the real-life accounts of former NYPD detective Ralph Sarchie, he has never dealt with a demon named Jungler, despite being involved in several exorcisms. Jungler has the features of several demons present in the Christian and Pagan cultures, which is an area of expertise for Derrickson, who has a degree in theological studies.
“I’ve always been fascinated by not so much the darker side of religion but the darker side of the mystical world that we live in. I’ve never been a materialist, I’ve never been somebody who believes in only what we can see and measure. I continue to be a student of religious philosophy, and I continue to take those ideas very seriously,” Derrickson told Complex about his exposure to religion. Considering his words, it is not a surprise that he was able to conceive a fictitious demonic entity that is immersed in the demonology we are familiar with. The filmmaker might have wanted the creative freedom he gained by creating a fictitious demon, which must have allowed him to integrate the characteristics of a demonic entity into a quintessential serial killer.