Father Daniel Fox (Lee Roy Kunz) is a practical man in a world full of religious believers. In Deliver Us, we are told that he is a Russian priest who’s able to rescue people from the grasp of evil. However, the man himself isn’t a stern believer in supernatural events. Most of the people he has treated so far were suffering from severe mental illness and needed some love and attention instead of magic. Now, the man is slowly losing faith and, therefore, desperately wants to change his line of business. He wants to become a good Christian instead of a bad priest and, therefore, plans to move on in life and settle down with his rich girlfriend, Laura Kuusik. But here is the twist: Before the man can walk away, the Russian bishop in Saint Petersburg hands him one last mission that involves a divine event: the second coming of Christ. Obviously, Father Fox doesn’t believe it, but that’s what Deliver Us is about. A transformative journey for its protagonist, where, in the end, he finally becomes a believer and starts to put his trust in the prophecy that he had shunned for so many years.
Directors Cru Ennis and Lee Roy Kunz’s Deliver Us have a plethora of biblical references, which, if it isn’t a shame to accept, we didn’t understand coming from a different cultural background. But we know films, and we know characters, and therefore, we can surmise how these elements affect our lead character in Deliver Us. So, without wasting any more time, let’s dive deep into the narrative of the film and break down Deliver Us till the end to explain what actually happened.
Why do Father Fox and Yulia run away?
Set in modern times, Deliver Us doesn’t waste a moment to tell us that humans have literally destroyed the climate. It’s code red for humanity, as their activities have warmed up the planet. Maybe it’s a subtle hint that God needs to push the undo button once again. Or maybe he should just teach his children some lessons so they can correct their mistakes. Whatever the case may be, God is urgently needed on Earth, and therefore, it’s about time a prophecy comes true.
Somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Russia, a virgin, Sister Yulia, gets pregnant with twins in a convent. One child is evil, and one is not. Now, throughout Deliver Us, it is kept quite ambiguous as to which one of these children is the embodiment of Christ and which one is the Antichrist. Deliver Us heavily plays on this ambiguity. At this same convent, we come across an evil-looking, one-eyed priest named Father Saul (Thomas Kretschmann). Saul is seen brutally killing some men and women whose backs are inscribed with ancient Zoroastrian scripture that prophesies the second coming of Christ. He makes booklets of these prints and gives them to another high-ranking priest, Cardinal Russo, who is an expert in ancient languages.
Out of the blue, Sister Yulia requests to meet Father Fox, and therefore, the Russian Bishop sends the man so that they can prove their sincerity towards their work. Soon, Father Fox and Cardinal Russo arrive at this convent, where Fox quickly notices the Weeping Virgin Mary Statue and tries to find scientific logic in the supernatural event because he is a non-believer. Father Fox meets with Yulia, where she subtly suggests that Father Saul wants to kill her children, and therefore, being the father and a soldier, he needs to protect them. Father Saul belongs to a secretive cult called Vox Dei (God’s Voice), whose sole mission is to stop the end of the world. Now, even Father Saul doesn’t know which child is the Messiah and which is the Antichrist, and therefore, his society decides to kill both children—a sacrifice that needs to be made for the greater good. However, Father Fox, being a practical man, overhears the conversation and convinces Cardinal Russo not to become a demon himself by letting Father Saul take two innocent lives. Soon after, Father Fox and Cardinal Russo take Yulia and run away from the convent while she finally gives birth to twins Samuel and Jacob on the train, as prophesied in the Zoroastrian scripture.
What Was the Significance of the Paintings Made by Laura’s Grandfather?
As we came close to the end of Deliver Us, we realized that everything in the film was prophesied. After running away from the convent, Father Fox sought help from his girlfriend, who was attending some business in Estonia. Cardinal Russo, Fox, and Yulia arrived in Tallinn, where Laura arranged a nice, and secluded cabin for them so that they could stay away from the evil eye of Father Saul.
At the cabin, Cardinal Russo came across certain paintings drawn by Laura’s dead grandfather, who probably knew that the end of the world was near and the prophecy could come true anytime. The man, however, was disturbed by visions, which he translated into paintings, before finally taking his own life in his underground workshop. For some reason, we believe that Laura’s grandfather knew that a woman and her twins would arrive in his old cabin someday and, therefore, had made proper arrangements like the wooden cradle.
In the paintings, Laura’s grandfather perhaps envisioned the horrible death of Cardinal Russo, who was eaten by the wolves in the woods. He also painted an intimate moment between Yulia and Father Fox because they were meant to be together. Additionally, the man knew that his granddaughter would be shot dead in the future with a child in her womb, and that’s what actually happened in Deliver Us. None of it made sense to Father Fox at first, but then, in the end, he had to finally believe that the prophecy was indeed true.
How did Cardinal Russo lose his life?
At the beginning of Deliver Us, Cardinal Russo tried to decipher the Zoroastrian scripture and concluded that before the Messiah learns to love, his evil brother will try to kill him. The Devil had the ability to get into people’s heads through dreams (visions) and tried to manipulate them into killing his brother. Cardinal Russo fell prey to these voices but defied the Devil’s command, because of which he met his eventual fate and died a horrible death. It is quite ironic that the man who had been hunting voiceless creatures in the woods and skinning them with pleasure was, in the end, eaten by the wolves. In short, the predator became the prey. It might’ve been another environmental theme that the film tried to explore.
How and why did Laura die?
Laura came from a rich, industrious family who probably owned an oil and gas drilling company in Estonia that was polluting the environment for generations. Now, we know that her death was imminent, as Deliver Us had already suggested one of the reasons why these twins were born: to stop humanity from killing itself. For the factory to stop polluting the environment any further, Laura had to die. We also remember a brief scene where Laura held one of the children in her arms and saw something in her vision that made her cry. We believe that this vision is somehow related to the havoc she created through her extensive drilling of natural resources.
Throughout the film, there are subtle hints of the Plagues of Egypt, like water poisoning, locusts, and wild animals. In Deliver Us, a mysterious outbreak ravages Estonia, driving people insane. According to the news report, the outbreak originated somewhere in the mines of Kose, where Laura’s company had conducted a mining operation years ago. In simpler words, Laura and her company were the root of all evil, and therefore, these twins (or at least one of them) were conspiring to kill her to end the source of the trouble. We are not sure if this outbreak took place because of the greed of Laura’s ancestors or if the twins did it, but in the present day, Laura had the chance to make things right, but she failed to do so and therefore had to face the judgment. She was mysteriously shot in her own factory. However, for some reason, we didn’t see a bullet hole in her dress. Maybe it was a continuity error, or maybe the creators want to suggest that she didn’t die from the bullet. Instead, there was some divine power involved in her death, as we saw a mysterious boy standing beside Father Fox when he chanted his last prayers for his lover. Was this mysterious boy God, or was it the Antichrist?
Laura’s grandfather had left her a portrait of her that he had painted, which looked like some evil creature (maybe locusts) that was going to destroy (plague) the world. So maybe Laura’s death is a victory for humanity if one wants to see it from that perspective. Additionally, in the shed, we saw a painting of a burning Earth with a nun hugging (or maybe protecting) the Earth, so it could be yet another suggestion that Nun Yulia would have some role to play in saving the world against those who pollute it mindlessly.
How did Father Saul die?
One should pull the trigger when one has the chance to do it. Father Saul wanted to kill the children in the mother’s womb because he knew that once these children were born, it would be close to impossible to stop them. More than that, it would be difficult to differentiate between good and evil. After a bit of searching, Father Saul finally located the cabin and tried to kill the children in the cradle, but he couldn’t pull the trigger. The Devil started toying with his mind and tempted him to kill his brother. Father Saul wasted too much time deciding which one to kill, and suddenly, Yulia attacked him from behind. After a bit of scuffle, Yulia shot Father Saul dead with his own gun.
Why did Father Fox try to kill the children?
After Laura’s death, Father Fox was quite shaken and wasn’t in his senses anymore. The practical priest had lost all his rationality and was unable to differentiate between reality and fiction. His troubled mind was the perfect place for the Devil to reside, and that was actually what the Antichrist did. We all know that the Devil can’t strike God directly; therefore, he uses humans as vessels to accomplish the task for him, and that’s what he’s been doing so far while trying to tempt people to kill his brother. Finally, it was Father Fox’s turn to prove himself.
The man who didn’t believe in the prophecy his entire life was finally forced to believe in it. He was on the brink of insanity when the Devil, in the form of Laura, appeared in his visions and provoked him to kill the bad one, as God didn’t save Laura and her unborn child. Now, the bad one is subjective here; as, for the Devil, the bad one is his brother, but for God, there is really no bad one. So we know that it was the Devil speaking to Father Fox in here. After these visions, the man completely lost his mind and, in a very “The Shining” kind of ending, attacked the door of Yulia’s room as she had bolted it for safety purposes.
Father Fox, on a murderous spree, killed two innocent policemen on his way and finally ran after Yulia, who arrived near a cliff. It is quite evident throughout the ending scene that the Devil was playing tricks on Father Fox’s mind, but he couldn’t see it, and therefore his end was inevitable. He finally took one of the children from the basket and tried to throw it off the cliff, but couldn’t. Fortunately, Yulia somehow took out a gun (probably Father Saul’s gun) and shot Father Fox in the chest to stop him. The man died for a moment but then came alive, as it was prophesied that the priest would eventually die and the father of the twins would come alive. It wasn’t the first time that Father Fox’s severe wounds had been magically healed. It could be speculated that it was the work of the Messiah who wanted to protect Father Fox at all costs, as he might have a larger role to play in the days to come.
What Does the Solar Eclipse Mean?
Since the beginning of Deliver Us, we saw the signs of an upcoming full solar eclipse, and as the day came closer, the number of supernatural elements, like the mysterious outbreak, increased twofold. We can speculate that the solar eclipse day acted as Doomsday or the end of the world, after which the world was made anew. The solar eclipse could also be a suggestion of Crucifixion darkness but Deliver Us doesn’t explicitly reveal the motive behind it and therefore we can only see it as a cycle of transformation.
In respect to Father Fox, the entire journey of the eclipse traced his own transformation. It began with him being a practical man who slowly transformed into a believer. He started bright as a sun, full of belief in his ideals but then the divine event gave him doubts. The darkness crept in and the man slowly lost faith and his sanity. Eventually, Father Fox became a darker version of himself in comparison to what we saw in the beginning. The evil inside him had to die so that a true believer could be born in the same vessel and that’s what the entire prophecy was about.
What Happens To Fox And Yulia In The End?
During Deliver Us’s ending, Fox was reborn as a father, and the couple returned back to the cabin where they would raise the children so that the good one would one day fight against the evil one. As parents, it is not their duty to make a choice between their two children. They cannot even kill one and save another because they are not sure which one is which. Being parents, they have to raise both kids equally and guide them with sincerity, and eventually, they will figure out their own destiny. Until then, Father Fox and Yulia had to give them all their love and attention and protect them from external forces like Vox Dei. Maybe at this point, Deliver Us subtly tries to suggest that a parent can never make a distinction between their children.