FEARNET Movie Review: 'Delivery'


Males can only imagine what it feels like to be pregnant, of course, but a whole lot of it seems truly unpleasant to me. The nausea, the discomfort, the inevitably strange feeling of having something grow inside you. Clearly it's the most natural thing in the world, and the payoff is pretty amazing, but filmmakers as varied as Roman Polanski, Ridley Scott, and David Cronenberg have used the act of procreation as the starting point for some truly memorable horror stories. More recent examples of pregnancy-related horror include Inside (2007), Grace (2009), and the film you're reading about right now.

The calm and quiet "found footage" indie known as Delivery tells a simple story in a familiar fashion: it's meant to be footage from an unaired "reality" series about couples who find out they're pregnant after having trouble on the fertilization front. Rachel (Laurel Vail) and Kyle (Danny Barclay) are a perfectly normal young couple who, after suffering through a miscarriage, are happily expecting their first child. The first half hour of Delivery is presented like a pilot episode of a typical cable series about normal people going through slight but possibly uplifting experiences -- and then director Brian Netto drops the facade by delivering the rest of the story through "raw footage" of the couple's hardships.
And let's just say that Rachel's pregnancy is a truly difficult one indeed. 
Netto and co-writer Adam Schindler seem to want to evoke Rosemary's Baby here, which means that while the viewer is pretty certain that the "threat" is something supernatural in nature, the characters in the film simply begin to question their sanity. Either Rachel's unborn infant is possessed by an evil spirit -or- Rachel is a sweet pregnant woman who is slowly turning into a very confused lunatic. That's why Delivery works: because either explanation is potentially scary.
Like most "found footage" thrillers, Delivery is a pretty talky affair. The first-person perspective of this storytelling style doesn't exactly lend itself to subplots or early jolts that may help to keep a viewer interested, but sometimes all an indie horror film needs is a few good actors, a novel enough spin on an oft-told tale, and a consistently ominous tone that culminates in a legitimate gut-punch of a finale. Whether or not Delivery offers any insights on how a pregnant woman actually feels I cannot say; I can offer the opinion that it's a smart, calm horror flick that borrows from a few classics but also marks some territory of its own.