Delusion is 2016 mystery, art house horror directed & written by Christopher Di Nunzio & starring David Graziano & Jami Tennille.
Frank Parrillo (Graziano) receives a letter from his wife who died three years ago. He’s been grieving ever since & with help from his nephew Tommy (Justin Thibault) decides he’s ready to start over.
After seeing a strange woman around, Frank decides to talk to her. They hit it off thanks to them both dealing with issues. Frank begins to have disturbing dreams about the woman & a visit to a psychic just deepens his concerns.
Despite encounters with a man who may not actually be real, Frank chooses to continue the relationship. He wants to move on past his grief so chooses to confront the demons in his head. A choice that could ultimately lead him to a much darker reality.
The opening 10 minutes of Delusion is not the best start. Especially for a movie that later relies heavily on your own interpretation of events. Frank & Tommy spend an inordinate amount of time spouting lengthy exposition that comes across forced. It’s frustrating particularly as a lot of this information could have been picked up as we see Frank silently dealing with his grief & getting lost in certain memories.
Still, once this opening is out of the way Delusion proves to be a good movie dealing with a number of tricky subjects all wrapped up in a beautiful art house style of filming. This is where the movie excels, the cinematography is excellent jumping between beautiful, bright outdoor shots & darkly sinister environments. The ambient sounds, music (in particular a violin tune that accompanies a lot of Mary’s scenes) & other-worldly atmosphere really adds layers to a great experience.
It’s never clear just where Delusion is going to end up, premonitions & dreams experienced by characters, aside. It does result in a finale that shocks in its violent nature but ends a little too abruptly to be completely satisfying.
It’s not the only flaw though. While most of the acting is good, often great it does fluctuate at times. It’s at its best when characters aren’t trying to clear up plot points but just behaving naturally. A conversation between Frank & his wife before she died is heart-warmingly natural sounding & the scene where he spreads her ashes in a lake has serious emotional punch.
It’s an effective scene, one of many in a film that shows some serious talent in both the direction & the acting skill of David Graziano & Jami Tennille. The issues it has doesn’t stop it being a very enjoyable watch & one that sticks in the mind long afterwards.