“Found Footage” is a tired trope, so one hesitates to lump in “Delivery” with the rest of the found footage horror genre because it’s not under the guise of amateur “found” footage, it’s footage that was specifically created— just for something quite different than what it was intended. “Delivery” makes horror out of what might be the least horrific genre (depends on who you ask) imaginable: the pregnancy reality show. Director Brian Netto and co-writer Adam Schindler have taken the taken both the found footage and reality show genres, and mashed them into one very scary and very entertaining homage to “Rosemary’s Baby,” and a worthy entrant into the pregnancy horror genre.
L.A. Film Fest Review: ‘Delivery’ Brings Scary and Entertaining New Life to Well-Known Horror Genres
L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Delivery' Brings Scary and Entertaining New Life to Well-Known Horror Genres
We know things aren’t going to go well for Rachel (Laurel Vail) and Kyle (Danny Barclay) when the film opens on the show’s producer trying to explain just what went so, so wrong during the taping of a reality show documenting their pregnancy. This sense of dread permeates the pitch perfect rendition of the TLC-style “The Baby Story” show that Rachel and Kyle are starring in. What follows is a mix of the show’s tapes, both edited footage and outtakes, along with video diary style tapes and interviews with the producer, Rick (Rob Cobuzio). Things start to get very weird with a series of technical malfunctions with the equipment, and then everything devolves from there, as Rachel starts to believe that a demonic spirit of some kind might be possessing her baby.
Using the device of technology and constant surveillance, “Delivery” brings a new dimension to the demon-fetus story, though they are faithful to a fault to the inspiration of “Rosemary’s Baby,” right down to Rachel’s pixie cut and the new house they move into. But the new approach both freshens up the idea and leaves more room for interpretation; despite being able to see almost everything, there’s room for any possibility to explain the phenomena.
It would be cruel to discuss more of the plot beyond the premise, but bolstered by outstanding performances by its two leads who are completely convincing in their reality show naivete, and as the two bewildered subjects of this project (Vail, especially, is astonishing, though Barclay more than steps up to her level), “Delivery” offers up recognizable tropes in a whip-smart and highly entertaining piece of indie genre fare. Much like the granddaddy of found footage, “The Blair Witch Project,” “Delivery” knows that even just a well-placed twig can make your skin crawl if the context, storytelling, pace and dread are there. It’s refreshing to see how effective lo-fi and simple things like that can be in a horror market saturated with CGI. “Delivery” has a strong sense of its own storytelling and cinematic historical context, and is a creepy-fun-scary flick that will leave you needing a hug, for sure. [B+]