M.L. Miller here! As I go into the tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Moving on to Year Four of my year-long Retro-Best in Horror I’m recapping the Countdown beginning officially on October 1, 2013 and going through September 30, 2014. I have posted compilation lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around, and even adding a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t!
How did I compile this list? I simply looked through films released between October 1st, 2013 and September 30, 2014 and worked and reworked the list until I had the magic number—31. Again, I never call myself any kind of expert in horror. I simply watch a lot of horror films and love writing about them. Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Released on September 30, 2014. Available on digital download, On Demand, and DVD/Blu-ray!
DELIVERY: THE BEAST WITHIN (2013)
Directed by Brian Netto
Written by Brian Netto & Adam Schindler
Starring Laurel Vail, Danny Barclay, Colter Allison, Rebecca Brooks, Lance Buckner, Rob Cobuzio, David Alan Graf
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here
There’s something precious about a pregnant woman that’s almost taboo in horror. When Jason murders the pregnant girl in FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3, for me, it was one of the most shocking of his kills. Usually in horror, the pregnant one lives, mainly because of the message that the unborn is supposed to be the ultimate in innocence—there to be protected at all costs and the hope that something good can come from all of the terror we have witnessed. Yet in one of the most infamous pregnancies in horror, at the end of HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP, and in many films afterward, the pregnancy is often used as that final shockeroo moment to keep the audience screaming. Still, when a pregnant woman is put in danger, I still can’t help but wince.
And that’s what makes DELIVERY such an effective film. Maybe it’s because of what I tried to explain above, or maybe it’s because I am an uncle twice over, but I found this found footage meets ROSEMARY’S BABY flick to be one of the more intense films of the subgenre. Centering around a reality television show, which at first had the intention of being a light hearted look at a couple during their first pregnancy, the tone of DELIVERY turns deathly serious when Rachel (Laurel Vail) has a scare with the baby in the pilot episode. Ever since that night, Rachel and her husband Kyle (Danny Barclay) begin to experience strange things occurring around them. Things get even more strange as the pregnancy progresses.
I want to keep things vague because I think you’ll enjoy DELIVERY if you go in expecting another hum drum found footage flick. I did that and couldn’t believe how powerful this one hit me. The final moments of this film literally knocked the wind out of me. Again, the concept is one that evokes a protective feeling and Laurel Vail makes it all easy since she is extremely likable as Rachel. The set-up, that the couple has experienced miscarriages before, makes it almost impossible not to root for them and the filmmakers take full advantage of that notion and use that investment to scare the shit out of the viewer time and time again.
Though the first section of the film is set up to be the pilot episode of the intended series and is set to strumming guitars and quick montages of the couple maneuvering through the city, DELIVERY quickly turns into a schockumentary. Rick (Rob Cobuzio) the director of the DELIVERY series, talks stoically to the camera, explaining that the rest of the film is made up of raw footage taken from the rest of the unaired season. Deciding to have Rick pop in occasionally to explain what’s going on in the periphery at first feels as if the film is taking the wind out of the scares by announcing when something bad is going to happen. But Cobuzio does such a good job here that it feels like a blessing in disguise that he warns us before hand and definitely puts a dire tone to the film which starkly contrasts with the joy the couple is feeling in the opening moments.
I was completely entranced by this film, internally begging for Rachel and Kyle to somehow have the baby of their dreams and fearing what kind of monster is growing inside of her. The final moments of this film are so intense, so frightening, and so real that even though you know it’s a movie, you’re going to be fooled by the reality of it all. The trailer below doesn’t do the film justice, as it makes the film feel like it’s a PARANORMAL ACITVITY riff and while the found footage haters will dismiss this film immediately, DELIVERY is more effective than the last three PA films combined. If the final moments of this film don’t affect you in some way, you must already be dead. I was hit hard by this film which feels more like a documentary than a true found footage film. The scares are intense, the mood is dire, and the people in danger are worth rooting for. DELIVERY is one hell of a pregnancy horror movie and feels like a modern-day ROSEMARY’S BABY. That’s high praise from this reviewer who holds Polanski’s film up to be one of the best of the best in horror.
THE 2013-2014 COUNTDOWN!
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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