PLOT: In an attempt to create a new series, a producer finds a couple who are expecting their first child after previously suffering a miscarriage. The story is told by featuring the pilot episode, and then interviews with the series creator as well as “found footage” to explain the tragic – and possibly supernatural – events he witnessed along the way.
A couple expecting a child is a beautiful thing. Of course if you’ve ever been through the experience you know that it can also be far more terrifying than any horror flick. There are many things that can go wrong. It is a joyful – as well as traumatic – event which will change your life forever. This very subject is explored in the new “found footage” flick DELIVERY: THE BEAST WITHIN. The challenge of having a miscarriage and the emotionally intense and often strained relations of the couple is the focus here.
Laurel Vail and Danny Barclay portray Rachel and Kyle Massy, a couple expecting their first born child. When a television producer (Rob Cobuzio) learns of their story, he pitches an idea for a reality series featuring the likable pair. We witness the relationship from the very hopeful and excited beginnings to a dark and tragic end. The further along the pregnancy, the bleaker their journey becomes. From morning sickness, to far more serious bouts of depression, Rachel begins to obsess about a dark force that she feels around her. Soon the question of just what, if anything, is haunting the expectant mother-to-be.
Creating a unique found footage feature is a nearly impossible task. It’s almost becoming a joke to complain about them. Let’s face it, they don’t seem to be going anywhere for a long while. However, director Brian Netto (who co-wrote the script with Adam Schindler) offers up a little bit of originality in this “supernatural” tale. For the first twenty minutes or so, we see the couple in the fictional pilot for the television show. If you’ve ever watched TLC’s “A Baby Story” you’ll have an idea what to expect. This concept creates a far more believable reason to have a bunch of cameras around while strange behavior happens.
For the second half of DELIVERY, we witness Rachel and Kyle sink into a similar situation to what you would see in PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. However, unlike that franchise, the focus is far more grounded and realistic. Aside from video distortions representing a possible haunting (or possession), creepy EVP’s and one slight demonic face, the idea that Rachel is suffering through some bipolar issues seems very likely. For some horror fans, this may not bode well. DELIVERY focuses on the emotional horror as opposed to outright scares – there is one slamming door for good measure. However the climax is very discomforting and grim, if a little predictable.
Approaching this subject as a made for television reality program certainly made a little more sense than usual. Rarely did I question why something was being filmed. The constant footage – gathered together to show the world of course – mostly makes sense. Throughout the film they feature interviews with the cast as well as video diaries from Rachel and Kyle. Even near the final moments, the insanity is minimal so the constant filming is a little more feasible than similar features.
DELIVERY may not have strong horror elements throughout but the lead actors help. As a couple struggling through an unusually difficult pregnancy, both Vail and Barclay give compelling performances. They are very convincing and sympathetic which made for an effective emotional anchor to the film. Basically I gave a crap about what happened to them. It also helps that her experiences aren’t over-the-top creepy so it is slightly more credible than similarly structured films. DELIVERY: THE BEAST WITHIN may be minimal on scares, yet the tension created from two compelling leads and an interesting approach makes it worth a look.