“Delusion” (2016), a Neo-Noir Horror-Thriller Indie Feature
The latest indie feature from writer-director Christopher DiNunzio and Creepy Kid Productions, Delusion (2016) blends DiNunzio’s (and DP Nolan Yee‘s) signature noir surrealism with supernatural horror and mystery. The film stars David Graziano (Under The Dark Wing, 2014; A Life Not To Follow, 2015) and Jami Tennille (Blood! Sugar! Sid! Ace!, 2012; Almost Human, 2013).
The protagonist of Delusion, widower Frank Parrillo (Graziano) receives a letter from his wife Isabella (Carlyne Fournier), who died three years ago. With help from his nephew Tommy (Justin Thibault), Frank decides he’s ready to move on with his life. Soon after, a mysterious younger woman appears. Mary (Tennille) seems like a kindred spirit, just what Frank needs as he begins living in the moment. Despite dire warnings from a psychic, Lavinia (Irina Peligrad), and Grayson (Kris Salvi), a man who Frank’s not sure is even real, he chooses to get involved with Mary as he confronts the demons in his head. This choice ultimately leads him to a darker reality.
The stills above are excellent representations of the surrealistic noir feel of this film. This tone is matched by Graziano’s characteristically gritty performance (reminiscent of the film noir male leads of yesteryear) and Tennille’s similarly authentic femme fatale (with a horror-thriller twist). The nod to the films of a genre once known as “melodrama” is conscious, as it comes up overtly in a subplot. In this regard, I would have enjoyed seeing more of Grayson (Salvi’s character), especially in the finale.
Besides Yee’s reliable handheld cinematography (there’s no “shaky cam” here), Chris Esper adds artistic contrast with the realism of his camera work in a flashback sequence. Creepy Kid Productions has not yet released this film, which is scheduled for an October release. Keep an eye out for this one. Its deft mix of insanity, the occult, murder, and revenge makes it a prime candidate for festival wins and distribution deals.
Frisco Kid’s Rating (on IMDb): 8 out of 10 stars