Since 2009 writer/director Christopher Di Nunzio has produced a considerable body of work, (six shorts and three features) in his native Boston MA. Beginning with the conspiracy/horror film Livestock in 2009, these have, apart from festival screenings, mostly gone under the radar. However, with his most recent film Delusion being picked up for distribution by Cinema Epoch this may finally change.
Starting with a strange enough occurrence, the delivery of a lost in the mail letter from his wife Isabella (Carlyne Fournier) who’s been dead for three years, a letter that tells the grieving Frank (David Graziano) to enjoy the rest of his days. Heeding advice from his nephew Tommy (Justin Thibault) he begins to get back out into the world. He meets Mary (Jami Tennille) and they become involved despite some misgivings on his part. But there are other problems that threaten Frank’s happiness, he seems to be stalked by a strange man (Kris Salvi) who may be a figment of his imagination and a psychic he consults (Irina Peligrad) warns him of supernatural danger in the form of a succubus. What is real and what isn’t becomes blurred and frank is running out of time to figure it all out.
Delusion is not a film that takes the easy way out, it keeps the audience as in the dark as the characters for most of the film and you’ll have to pay attention to what’s going on. This isn’t a film you can put on as background noise. This is a solidly built, character driven story which stays away from effects and gore until the end. Whether this is a good or bad thing is, of course, a personal choice, but those who like their films bloody may find this a bit dull.
Of course, without good acting all of this would be wasted. The leads are all excellent here, especially Graziano who certainly has the talent move beyond regional acting. His performance as the troubled, conflicted Frank certainly holds your attention. Tennille gives a strong performance as Mary, who may or may not be trustworthy or even human.
On the down side, the film does bog down a couple of times, but not badly, it could have done with a bit better pacing. Also, while a matter of opinion, I never found Mary to be that compellingly attractive that Frank would ignore his instincts and stay involved with her. She’s not ugly but she’s no great beauty and her personality was grating, attempts to add a film noir style of attraction to her by filming her “glamorously” puffing on cigarettes falls horribly flat.
Overall though, DELUSION is a strong and fairly creepy film. At time as much a drama and character study as a horror movie it requires attention and a bit of patience. Those willing to give it that will be well rewarded. It’s available now from Cinema Epoch via Amazon with more outlets to come.