Saturday, 27 February 2016

delivery - the beast within

in hindsight i think delivery - the beast within is kind of an odd choice for the final film of my found footage blogathon, but i was putting it off because to be honest i find the whole idea of childbirth fucking terrifying. this film did nothing to allay those fears.

so it's about this couple, kyle and rachel, and they're having a baby and they agree to allow a documentary crew to film the process for a reality show. however, as the pregnancy advances the couple are plagued by strange incidents around the house and rachel begins to suspect there may be something seriously wrong with her unborn child.

first of all, it has to be said that the the reality show format is handled really well, to the point that if you missed the opening titles you would be forgiven for mistaking it for part of an actual tv series. i love the idea of someone turning on the tv and catching delivery in the middle of the opening act and mistaking it for a genuine reality tv show. the first act is essentially the full pilot episode of the fictional show and then from that point onwards the film is made up of unaired material and interviews with the producer. it's certainly one of the more authentic found footage movies i've seen and that makes it even more disturbing when the supernatural elements kick in. the filmmakers also do a nice job of keeping the involvement of the film crew believable - they are made to leave the room a couple of times and at one point are banned from filming altogether and that adds another layer of reality.

laurel vail and danny barclay are fantastic as the two leads and play a very believable couple. they do a great job of acting like two people who have known each other for a very long time, which can't be an easy thing to accomplish in something like this, and they also have to deal with some really tough moments as their characters. their conflicts are as realistic as their affections and this makes the film all the more painful to watch.

perhaps as a result of this increased focus on reality the horror element never felt that extreme to me. there are unexplained events unfolding on camera and some pretty extreme moments early on, but for the most part this is standard haunting stuff. one recurring scene i've come across in a few found footage horror films (most recently in the possession of michael king) is the part where the protagonists consult a sound engineer about a spooky sound caught on tape and he (always a he) confirms that this sound could not be made by a human voice. that happens in this film too, as well as doors slamming, sleepwalking, dogs acting weird and so on. in a way it escalates too soon because it never feels like it gets any worse than the first few incidents.

but then there is the ending, which i will not say anything about other than it is truly, truly shocking and a real gut punch to the viewer.

delivery - the beast within is one of the more technically amibiitious and convincing found footage films i've seen, and what it lacks in scares it makes up for in believability and a truly horrifying final scene.

the found footage blogathon will run throughout february in which time i plan to review as many films as possible and maybe throw in a few extras as well. if you'd like to be involved and post your own content, send me a link via twitter with the tag #foundfootageblogathon. i'll retweet your link and will include it in a summary post at the end of the month. you can find a full list of the films i'll be reviewing here.

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