In 2019, Hulu began a horror series that depicts a number of horrific events, each centered around a Holiday or major event in a person’s life. Into the Dark dives deep into the emotional toll that certain events have on the human mind and body, and the latest installment of the series, Delivered, follows that same idea. Valerie (Natalie Paul) and Tom (Michael Cassidy) are a married couple who is pregnant with their first child. The pregnancy has been trying for Valerie, even more so than most pregnancies. As her due date creeps closer and closer, she and Tom finally find a friend with whom they can share their struggles. Their new friend, Jenny (Tina Majorino), is wonderfully level-headed, passionate about her unborn child (even more than most) and her compassion toward Tom and Valerie appeals greatly to them. As their friendship grows stronger (in an oddly short amount of time), Jenny’s true intentions begin to show, and Valerie, Tom, and the baby are in danger.
Writer Dirk Blackman creates a script that, in the grand scheme of things, is spread too thin. Clocking in at nearly an hour and a half, Into the Dark: Delivered is the length of many feature-length films. The screenplay, however, appears to contain only enough for a typical television show, and can easily be condensed to a concise forty-five-minute episode. This becomes clear over the course of the episode as there are significant lulls throughout. There are moments in the film that are difficult to watch due to the lack of content. The inability of Blackman to include necessary details to fill the broad cracks leads to the episode being quite the turnoff to the bulk of viewers.
“Their new friend…is wonderfully level-headed, passionate about her unborn child…”
The issues with the screenplay do not stop with the lack of content; these shortcomings continue with the dialogue. The dialogue was entirely too simplistic to draw sophisticated audiences and far too odd for even the most casual viewers to appreciate. Phrases such as “Let’s get you sitting down” and “I can take work off” are terribly odd and it seems that Blackman struggled to string together complete and cohesive sentences for his script. The oddities present in this script makes it difficult to appreciate some of the characters at points throughout Into the Dark: Delivered. Shoving a wedge between the characters and the viewers makes it entirely too difficult for said viewers to appreciate the story in front of them and the film as a whole.
What makes the script’s shortcomings so upsetting is the fact that the ideas behind this particular episode of Into the Dark have so much potential, and that the actors who take part in Delivered do a wonderful job performing. Their acting is compelling, and, paired with the most basic parts of Blackman’s ideas, have the ability to produce a truly appealing final product. It is terribly upsetting that all the potential shown by Blackman is destroyed by his inability to provide enough content and his lack of skill in regard to dialogue. I am finding it very difficult to appreciate the finished product due to the many flaws of writer Dirk Blackman. Director Emma Tammi, the rest of the crew and the wonderfully talented cast find ways to make parts of the film appealing to audiences, however, they are unable to do enough to make up for Blackman’s incompetence. It is quite clear, at this point, that Into the Dark: Delivered certainly does not and leaves audiences less than thrilled with Blackman’s attempt at horror.
"…Their acting is compelling, and...[had] the ability to produce a truly appealing final product."