Delirium Image


By Bobby LePire | January 9, 2018

A group of friends convinces one of them, Billy (Troy Osterberg), to trek through the dark woods to an old, creepy house, and to stand on the porch. When he doesn’t return after a little while, the group goes to the house to investigate what happened to him, and what happened at the house all those years ago. Does that brief plot synopsis sound familiar? As if it has been used in so many movies set in haunted houses that accurately guessing the conclusion would be easy, just from this two sentence summary? Johnny Martin’s new pseudo-found footage ghost movie, Delirium, is that kind of a movie: predictable and unimaginative.

Director Johnny Martin does have one new trick up his sleeve, though. While the vast majority of the movie is shot with cameras one of the leading characters is holding, there are moments where we are watching them edit that footage, or setting up the cameras, that are not in this found footage style. This allows for better shot composition and lighting than is usually afforded to such movies. That one of the leads is a film student, and continually readjusts the handheld cameras for the best looking shots possible is a tremendous help as well. Delirium is gorgeous looking, and the astonishing visuals prove to be one of the only things to pull the audience through to the end.

“… an angry ghost, her tragic backstory, and the group of generic guys who disturbed her at the house.”

Outside of the stylish visual flair, the sound editing is top notch as well. During a tense moment, one of the friends becomes possessed by the evil entity, Lady Brandt (Elena Sanchez). She forces the possessed to speak in a fast, warped way, that sounds unnatural. It is a very creepy scene, which proves how much of a threat this ghost truly represents. Mathieu Carratier’s score adds an unnerving sense of scale and intensity to the proceedings as well.

While a movie is a visual storytelling medium, it is still important to present the story in an intriguing manner. The four credited screenwriters–Francisco Castro, Andy Cheng, (director) Johnny Martin, and Lisa Clemens–have failed to do so. A standard plot is perfectly fine when there is more to fall back on, such as memorable characters. Take The Conjuring and Poltergeist as great examples of what I mean. In their most basic, broadest strokes, they have the same plots: a family moves into a new house, supernatural shenanigans ensue until outside help from paranormal adept folks saves the day. Their specific focuses, the characterizations, and way of getting from haunted house to resolution vary greatly. In Delirium, there is nothing aside from the angry ghost, her tragic backstory, and the group of generic guys who disturbed her at the house. That is all there is, and the most gorgeous visuals in the world won’t save the blatantly apparent outcomes from boring the audience.

“…characters are so interchangeable and bland that they all might as well have been one person…”

An astute reader may have noticed that aside Billy and the ghostly Lady Brandt, no character names have been specified. This is due to the movie’s biggest flaw. The movie was viewed twice before the writing of this review began; the second time with the sole intention of getting who’s who 100% right. That did not happen. The characters are so interchangeable and bland that they all might as well have been one person. There is a character named Muzo, played by Seth Austin, and despite having seen it twice, I am half certain he just disappears from the movie. I don’t mean killed by the ghost, I mean was simply written out of the later half and no one noticed because each character conveys identical thoughts, actions, and motivations. Keith (Ryan Pinkston) is a film student, but, then again, it might be Chase (Mike C. Manning). Austin (Griffin Freeman) is a bit dorkier than the rest, I think. Maybe it was Eddie (Ian Bamberg), I literally have no idea. The actors themselves are capable, especially when it comes to selling the reality of the supernatural element, but are all generic pretty, white boys, which is another reason they all mesh together.

There are certainly worse horror movies, but aside from a strong visual presentation, Delirium fails to connect. The characters run together to the point of not knowing who is who, and the plot is so potboiler it is a tad tedious to watch.

Delirium (2017) Directed by Johnny Martin. Written by Francisco Castro, Andy Cheng, Lisa Clemens, Johnny Martin. Starring Ryan Pinkston, Elena Sanchez, Mike C. Manning, Griffin Freeman, Seth Austin.

Grade: C-


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  1. Samantha says:

    Good movie as far as horror movies with the video recording inside the movie goes. I agree that I was confused as to why Lady Brandt appeared to be helping to kill the children. Or why the female ghost (whom I’m assuming is also Lady Brandt) kissed the camera guy while the dead husband just watched. All of that was kind of weird. I also agree that the guys all blended into 1 guy and I was kind of wishing the girls would have came along just to add some variety to who is being murdered so the audience wouldn’t be so confused.

  2. April Mae says:

    I was left wondering what the backstory was for the haunting itself! The one guy told the story of the father killing the mother and all the children, but then it showed the mother “helping” the father with the children’s dead bodies, and then some strange monologue about taking her children and the guy returning. I was just lost as to what had happened and why they were continuing to kill people.

  3. Arthur G. says:

    I am a big fan of horror movies. This movie is not that good but better then some horror movies I have seen before…. its like you want it to be over but you also want to see what’s gonna happen next.

  4. Kathy MacDonald says:

    I saw this at the Horror Hotel film festival in Ohio. I had no problem keeping track of names. EDDIE was the guy they sent in and went in after. They mention him a lot! Okay my son’s name is Edward, so that stayed with me but it’s even in the trailer, so where did you get Billy as being the one they were searching for? Billy was in the brief opening and they thought he took off. Muzo stabs himself and then his body is possesed as you mentioned- All the characters are accounted for at the end and seen (I won’t spoil the ending!) and as one character says in the trailer “It’s right in front of your face!”

    • April Mae says:

      I just finished watching the movie, and actually, Billy was the guy they sent in and went back looking for. Eddie was the guy with the glasses that didn’t want to go to the nursery, but was the first to get possessed once inside.

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