Directed by Jared Black
Available on iTunes and Amazon.com
After daughter Emily mysteriously went missing for over a year before returning home, mother Rachel and step-father Tim desperately try to discover where she actually was for that length of time. Emily’s estranged father Barry is also keen to discover the truth behind his daughter’s whereabouts during her disappearance and hires a private investigator to keep an eye on his little girl and, in particular, her step-father.
Opening with an intense scene of two individuals being trapped inside a booby-trapped room, Jared Black’s DELIRIUM gives off a SAW type vibe that I expected to be carried on throughout the film. As the story unfolds and shifts to the missing child, I started to believe that maybe some sadistic pervert was behind the disappearance or at least an individual who likes to play games a la Jigsaw. What actually plays out leans more towards a family drama (for the most part) where the bickering guardians of the little girl can’t seem to agree on what to do with Emily and with noises in the attic and Emily’s attention being regularly diverted, mother Rachel begins to question the safety of their own home.
DELIRIUM ultimately presents itself as a psychological thriller but suffers from choppy editing which sees scenes jump from one scene to another without explanation or clarity, which in turn often leaves the viewer disorientated with what they’re seeing on-screen. A reason for this manic editing is sort of explained in the latter scenes of the film but feels too much of a cop out to justify the poorly executed narrative. Literally, one thing is being discussed on screen and it will cut to another character, who you think is in the same room continuing the conversation, who is actually somewhere else in the middle of a completely different conversation at a different time of the day. I’ve never come across a film edited like this before and it astounds me as to how on Earth I managed to maintain a grip on the story… well, fragments of a story, that is.
Many of the performances in the movie feel a little exaggerated but the script the actors have to work with isn’t the best. Towards the end of the film, both the script and narrative get extremely messy that it’s hard to know what’s going on from one moment to the next, nevermind care. Characters appear from nowhere at an instant thus have no real effect on the viewer when problems arise. Too many faces floating around the screen only seems to make the incoherent situation worse.
DELIRIUM looks like a film that has been hacked to bits in the editing suite with no care or attention gone into making it an interesting, entertaining or emotional experience for its ultimate audience. I’d be interested to know if the original footage of the scenes included are extended or as seen here. If the former, then I would much prefer to see a re-edited version of the movie because in this state, DELIRIUM simply doesn’t work.