Friday, May 8, 2020

Review: Into the Dark: Delivered (S2E8)

Release date: May 8, 2020
Running time: 80 minutes
Starring: Joël Dupont, Tina Majorino, Micah Joe Parker, Natalie Paul

Into the Dark is a Hulu collaboration with Blumhouse to make a monthly movie-length horror feature from Jason Blum’s independent TV studio. Each feature-length installment is inspired by a holiday and features Blumhouse’s signature genre/thriller spin on the story.  In season 2, episode 8, Delivered, the series sets its sights on Mothers Day, focusing on a young expectant mother and her terrifying ordeal. 

Expectant parents Valerie (Paul) and her husband Tom (Dupont) are counting the days until their first child is born.  As part of this, they head to an expectant mom's yoga class where they meet Jenny (Majorino).  Additionally, Valerie is having some trouble with a former boyfriend Riley (Parker), who won't leave her alone.  As Valerie, Tom, and Jenny become quick friends, she invites them to her farm house far in the country for a relaxing dinner.  However, when something goes wrong during the dinner, their relaxing evening turns into an ordeal of terror.

Delivered is a much more suspenseful film than the campy, funny Pooka Returns from last month.  It focuses more on terror and unease, with Valerie having anxiety over her future baby and then having anxiety over the situation she finds herself in.  However, what is great about this episode is that it focuses a lot on the two women in this film.  They both are fantastic in their roles but it was especially fun to see Majorino on the screen again, after not seeing her much since her breakout role in Napoleon Dynamite.  She displayed a great range in this film, showing both her humor and horror chops.  As with the other Into the Darks, the cast has the right amount of humor, horror, and personality.  It really makes you get invested in the show when you like the characters.  The film doesn't use much in the way of special effects, focusing more on atmosphere, tension, and good old fashioned makeup to portray the terror.

However, Delivered's story is slow to progress.  It gives you a chance to really get to know the characters, but it does make the episode feel overly long.  It is not a 9 month ordeal, but it is one where it starts off with a big encounter, then has a long pause in the middle, then ends with another encounter.

Delivered has a fantastic cast, good atmosphere, and plenty of terror and suspense in this Mothers Day horror treat from Into the Dark.

Rent it.

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