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  Delusion Bad GriefBuy this film here.
Year: 2016
Director: Christopher Di Nunzio
Stars: David Graziano, Jami Tennille, Irina Peligrad, Kris Salvi, Justin Thibault, Carlyne Fournier, Renee Lawrie, Jessy Rowe, Christine Perla, Ronnie Oberg, Shereen Brown
Genre: Horror, Drama
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Frank Parrillo (David Graziano) is standing in the middle of a field with his nephew Tommy (Justin Thibault) and they are making conversation as Tommy feels his uncle should have some company since his wife Isabella died a few years ago, but then Frank drops a bombshell: he has received a letter from her. It seems to have been written some time ago, and he reads it out to reveal it says all sorts of encouraging things to her widower, though his nephew does wonder if it means Frank will never be able to move on with his life. However, there are dark forces at work that will prove a hindrance to his happiness, even as they seem to be offering a solution to his unhappiness...

The increase in platforms for movies to be brought to the attention of a potential audience grows ever more with every year, which is good news for the indie filmmakers who may not otherwise have found a way to get their efforts seen, but then again made it more difficult for those viewers to settle on a title when there was now such a huge choice, and one wondered how often a low budget, no stars film was actually alighted upon by the casual viewer seeking something to watch of an evening when it was more likely they would give what they were already familiar with a try, leaving those indie movies in something of a ghetto of streaming services.

Christopher Di Nunzio, who wrote and directed this modest horror, which didn't look much like a horror except in the occasional, brief sequence, must have been delighted when his leading lady Jami Tennille had appeared in the Oscar-nominated Manchester By The Sea, since it lent him a hook to grab that audience given there was a connection with something they had heard of, and she was essentially this story's femme fatale to the capable, unconventional leading man Graziano. There were pointed references to film noir cropping up here and there, more so that fright flicks it had to be said, either in simply gestures like having her smoke cigarettes, or an actual conversation Frank has with a friendly waitress (Jessy Rowe) about favourite films in that genre.

No harm in making your ambitions clear, but as the whole film leaned on the conversational side those unused to the style of tiny budget indie cinema may have found their patience tested, particularly when Di Nunzio either found his plot getting away from him or more likely was fashioning a tone of confusion to better represent his protagonist's state of mind as Frank falls for Tennille's Mary. She is a substitute for the deceased wife we see in flashback (well, usually), but a medium (Irina Peligrad) who was supposed to be offering him psychic succour grows alarmed that a sinister entity is taking advantage of him, and his visions and dreams appear to indicate that. Quite why the forces of darkness would take such an interest in a rather unremarkable, ordinary chap may not be highlighted, but there was a nice, building, fever dream mood to Delusion that succeeded against the obvious lack of funds, the director making that work in his favour. Not for everyone, but if you preferred to give the lesser publicised movies a chance, then this was fine. Music by Frederic Mauerhofer.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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