Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Delivery: The Beast Within DVD Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
Blending found footage and reality show genres, the nightmarish feature that is “so intense, so frightening, and so real” (Aint It Cool News) marks the directorial debut of Brian Netto, who also co-wrote the film with producer Adam Schindler, and is “bolstered by outstanding performances by its two leads,” (IndieWire) Laurel Vail and Danny Barclay.  Delivery: The Beast Within follows Kyle (Barclay) and Rachel Massy (Vail), a young couple who agrees to document their first pregnancy for a new reality show. The family begins to unravel when the cameras capture a series of unexplained events, leading Rachel to believe that a malicious spirit has possessed their unborn child. After production is abandoned, a firsthand account of the tragic, and possibly supernatural, story is told through the show’s un-aired footage and testimonials from friends, family and crew members.
Film (3 out of 5 stars)
Rachel and Kyle Massey have been trying to have a baby for a while.  They’ve signed up to be in a new reality show and have allowed cameras into their home and their lives.  After a couple of, what Rachel calls “false starts,” she is finally pregnant.  After sharing their good news to their friends, Rachel ends up in the hospital, but thankfully, doesn’t lose the baby.  When she returns from the hospital, strange things begin to happen and Rachel begins to change.

After buying a house, Rachel and Kyle settle in and prepare for the baby.  When Rachel starts having nightmares and sleep walking, Kyle becomes concerned and tries to help her.  After being out one night, they return home to find that someone or something has vandalized their home.  This sets Rachel off and she soon believes something paranormal is happening. As her pregnancy progresses, she and Kyle are having more problems and with it all comes to a head, Kyle kicks the film crew out and ends production.  A month later, he again allows them back in to film the last month of Rachel’s pregnancy.  This turns out of be a bad idea, as Rachel becomes more and more convinced that something is wrong with their baby. 

Delivery: The Beast Within reminds me a cross between Paranormal Activity and Rosemary’s Baby.  It’s a reality show that goes wrong and everything that happens to the people involved.  Laurel Vail and Danny Barclay both were good in their roles.  They were believable as a married couple expecting their first child and all the problems the go through.  For a horror film, it sure didn’t start out as one.  I felt like I was watching a reality show on TLC.  I really liked how the filmmakers did that.  It was different and it really made the movie.
Video (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The widescreen presentation of Delivery: The Beast Within was good.  It is shot documentary/reality TV style and it looks accurate.  I liked the format.  There are some dark moments where you can’t see what’s happening, but mostly the picture is bright and clear.  It really felt like I was watching a failed reality show turned documentary.
Audio (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Delivery: The Beast Within’s English Dolby 5.1 audio was good.  It stayed true to the style of the footage and was clear.  There were loud and soft parts, but both were done well and I didn’t need at adjust the volume at all.  There wasn’t a lot of background and silent parts were done well and made for a creepier film.  Audio is also available in Dolby Digital 2.0 and there are no subtitles available.
Extras (2 out of 5 stars)
  • The Birth of Delivery – A nine minute behind the scenes look about the film.  This talks about how the film started, where the idea came from and the filming of the show.  This includes the crew talking about their research and why they chose to do it in the format of a reality show.
  • Trailer – The official trailer for the film. 
  • Audio Selection – This is the audio tab under the special features tab.  It includes the audio options as well as the commentary options.
  • Audio Commentary with Actors Laurel Lail and Danny Barclay, Producer Adam Schindler and Director Brian Netto
  • Audio Commentary with Composer Daniel Cossu, Supervising Sound Editor Darin Heinis, Producer Adam Schindler and Director Brian Netto
Summary (3 out of 5 stars)
For a horror movie that didn’t start out as one, this was really good one. It was a good twist on the typical found-footage format. The progression from happy couple to what happened at the end of the film was shown through the footage filmed for a reality show. Delivery: The Beast Within was a good mix of sweet and scary and I found myself gasping at the end of the movie. This has definitely earned its place on my shelf and I will be watching it again.

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