Delivery tells the story of Kyle and Rachel Massy, a young couple who agree to document their first pregnancy for a family-oriented reality show. The production spirals out-of-control after the cameras capture a series of unexplained events, leading Rachel to believe that a malevolent spirit has possessed their unborn child.
Director Brian Netto perverts the warm, airy feel of two things: reality television and pregnancy. His approach, at first, seems unoriginal. More and more, horror movie directors love the camcorder, shaky-filmed, documentary-esque approach and apply it in an attempt to craft a genuine tone, approximating audiences to the “horror” with its genuine feel. Netto tries this in his own fashion. He implements three levels of perspective and reality in his film. First, we view the outsider perspective. A talking head undergoes an interview by someone behind the camera.
He tells the story of his misdirected reality television series. Second, the intended “reality series” interjects its own perspective, shadowing the characters like an unseen observer. Third, the “found footage” airing intimate moments not meant for the supposed reality show “Delivery” dominates the film. These three levels operate simultaneously to strengthen the feeling that this story actually happened. Though Netto strived to differentiate himself from others using the “found footage” method, ultimately, his story promised more than it delivered.
When watching this film, it seems like the cast talks more about the disturbing events that supposedly occur than actual disturbing events occurring. You wait, and wait, and wait, anxiously hoping to see something disturbing. However, these moments only happen a few times throughout the entire 84 minutes of Delivery: The Beast Within. Now despite the overall flop that encapsulates this movie, Netto differentiates his ghost story in another novel way. Instead of a haunted location, a malevolent presence haunts the pregnancy itself. Think Rosemary’s Baby, modernize it, and put it in “found footage format.”
Another defining factor of this haunted pregnancy and implied demonic offspring reveals itself in the circumstances surrounding it. Not exactly the big red horned boss’s son, but a specific demon of revenge covets Rachel Massy’s unborn child, Alastar.
“Alastar,” according to Rachel, seeks to possess Rachel and Kyle’s baby once born. In the meantime, he enjoys ordering Rachel to paint her baby room, forcing her to digest uncooked meat (nice American Horror Story rip-off), and occasionally possessing her. Unfortunately for the anxious audience, we never witness Rachel under demonic influence. Instead, Kyle tells us.
Most of the movie operates this way. Instead of seeing the bizarre phenomena, we hear about it. The interviews conducted with the pseudo reality series director continually tantalize us with their sinister indications of “what was found” on footage not intended for broadcasting. Again, unfortunately for the audience, we never really witness any spectacularly skin-crawling events. What we do see, however, is a couple slipping apart and into madness by the trials of a pregnancy they could not handle.
There does occur one intense moment that will instantly raise those tiny goose bumps. Lawfully-whipped Kyle goes to check on his insomniac wife and bring her back to bed. When he reaches the attic, he finds her sitting in silence and giggling under muffled breath. He takes her up, and when the camera closes in on her face, we see someone different than Rachel. She smiles the Joker’s smile, and her eyes glow red.
This moment, along with the ending, completely cover the movie’s “scary” moments. Aside from this, the movie’s attempts to scare me felt like clumsy over-played tricks rehashed from Paranormal Activity. The hype just doesn’t equate to its deliverance.
Upon viewing its unexpected and shocking conclusion, I surmised that this movie meant more than a simple haunting. Rachel’s intensifying irritation to all her surroundings, insomnia, aversion to Kyle’s affection for his dog (whose affection she envies), self-abuse, over-bearing and judgmental mother, and inexplicable cravings for raw meat all compare to the challenges that accompany pregnancy.
When first introduced to these two characters, their obnoxious perfection and fit into the pretty, young, and upper-middle class white suburbian mold will make you want to vomit, particularly when they capitalize on this mold in the beginning credits to the reality show that never was—but watching their slow descent into insanity and loathing for each other, is quite something to watch—I dare say more interesting than any “hauntings” supposedly occurring. And as Rachel stares down at her newly born infant, whispers “Good night Alastar,” and furiously stabs him, we realize where the true horror of this film lives.