After a successful festival run that included a 2nd place prize for Best Guerilla Film - Feature at Action on Film and four prizes at the Shawna Shea Film Festival, writer/director Christopher Di Nunzio's Delusion has been picked up by Cinema Epoch for distribution and is now available for rent or to buy on Amazon in the U.S., U.K., and in Canada or you can watch it for free with Amazon Prime.
Delusion tells the story of Frank Parrillo (David Graziano), a man who receives a letter from his wife three years after her passing. Soon after, a mysterious woman (Jami Tennille, Manchester by the Sea) appears who seems like a kindred spirit as the two share internal issues. Despite premonitions from a psychic (Irina Peligrad) and a man whom Frank isn't even sure is real (Kris Salvi), he opts to move forward as he confronts the demons inside his head - a choice that could ultimately lead him to a darker reality.
At its heart, Delusion is a complex psychological thriller/horror, a character study of sorts but the kind of character study that skips the usual paint-by-number routine in favor of tosses, turns and unflinching integrity, especially toward film's end, that shocks but doesn't necessarily surprise.
Graziano, always an engaging actor, is compelling as Parrillo, a character who develops slowly yet in a way that draws you in and, I'd dare say, traumatizes you just a wee bit more by the time everything else that happens unfolds here. As Mary, Jami Tennille gives what is perhaps the film's most complex performance by painting a portrait of a young woman whose motives, at least initially, seem innocent enough...until they're not.
Delusion is less of an obvious film than some of Di Nunzio's earlier work, a fact that may bother some but, at least for me, feels like growth as both a writer and director. Di Nunzio seems to be trusting his audience more here and, as well, trusting himself as a filmmaker. The end result is a film that feels more assured and steady.
Production quality in Delusion is rock solid, D.P. Nolan Yee's lensing lending the film a noirish feeling while Frederic Mauerhofer's original music companions the film quite effectively.
Delusion isn't quite the film you expect it to be, a tip o' the hat to Di Nunzio warranted for crafting a ballsy yet artistically faithful film that avoids cliche's and features a terrific ensemble cast including, along with the already acknowledged fine performances by Graziano and Tennille, terrific performances by Irina Peligrad, Kris Salvi as Grayson and Justin Thibault as Tommy along with others.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic