Directed by: Brian Netto
Written by: Adam Schindler
Featuring: Laurel Vail, Danny Barclay, Colter Allison
(This review includes spoilers.)
The 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival kicked off yet another jam-packed year, one light on horror movies, but full none the less. One of the scary movies that was screened is Delivery, a horror/found-footage/reality TV/hybrid movie. Let's get right to the point: If you don't like any of those elements, or combination thereof, you will not like this movie.
Delivery is set within a reality TV show, where we follow a couple who is trying to conceive after a succession of miscarriages. Along the way, the wife thinks she is being stalked/haunted/whatever. Her husband struggles to try to keep it under control. At some point, they stop doing the reality show and ask the camera dude to come document the rest of the pregnancy for them.
As it is a found footage movie, Delivery is long, and it feels long; however, the end did have a great, though quick, payoff. The filmmakers do a good job exploring marriage, relationship dynamics, in-laws and the difficulties of conceiving. By the end of Delivery, I hated married couples, in-laws, pregnancy and priests (though, to be fair, I always have). Yes, I said priests, one of which makes an appearance to bless the house or get rid of the spirits or something. It was obviously not the husband's idea, but his mother-in-law's doing.
Here's the description of Delivery from the Los Angeles Film Festival website: "In this unnerving chiller, a young couple agrees to document their first pregnancy for a reality show, but when unexplained events start to plague the production, they suspect something might be wrong with their unborn bundle of joy."
Does Delivery deliver what it promises? Yes, it does. The only thing it doesn't do is unnerve anyone until the very end of the film. Prior to that, it feels like a bunch of idiots running around making stupid decisions — not in the scary or fun way, but in the way that reminds me that I dislike married couples, pregnancy, in-laws and priests (though, to be fair, see above).
The pregnant wife, a nonpracticing Catholic, begins to believe that she is being haunted, but we later find out she has been previously diagnosed with a major depressive disorder and hasn't been taking her meds due to her pregnancy, though she seemed to be getting better prior to the pregnancy. However, every doctor knows that pregnancy hormones mess with most women's brain chemistry, and if you are MDD prior to pregnancy, you will most likely have problems while pregnant.
So, was she really being haunted or was it all a psychotic episode? I don't really know. I vote for a psychotic episode and that she drove herself batshit crazy and then killed her baby after almost dying because she was stupid enough to want a home birth, even after having pregnancy complications that included losing the baby and, then, wait, the baby is still alive! It's a blessing. What I do know is that at the beginning of the movie, we already are aware that the wife dies at the end, because we are told she does. Consequently, we wait the entire movie to find out if that is the only payoff or if there are more, which there are. (Hint: I spoiled it for you in the above paragraph.)
Like all other found footage movies, Delivery builds up to a quick climax at the very end. If you take the beginning, parts of the middle and the end, and smash it all together then you would have a fairly good short film. Honestly, if I want to watch a reality show, it will be in the comfort of my home. However, I personally hate reality TV. If you don't like reality or found footage, then this movie is not for you.
Purposefully directing and editing a movie to look like a reality show is difficult, and director Brian Netto pulled it off. The actors did a great job with what they were working with. I believe that this is the first movie directed by Netto, and for his first movie, he did a great job; however, Delivery is definitely not for everyone.