Rated: Not Rated

        Grief is a tough subject to tackle in film, no matter the experience level of the filmmaker. You have to be careful to portray it in a way that gives due respect, while highlighting the mental torment of the grieving. You also have to be careful about how the story builds around the grieving, and do it in such a way that highlights the emotions that go along with it, but not be so morose that it drags the film, and the audience, down with it.
        This is an especially difficult task for budding indie filmmakers. Getting the right balance of deep emotion and the brighter side of things can be tricky, especially on a budget that’s beyond tight and doesn’t allow for many special effects. Writer/director Christopher Di Nunzio has taken on this herculean task in his new film
Delusion is the story of Frank. Struggling with the grief of losing his wife three years ago, Frank unexpectedly receives a letter from her, stating that he must move on and continue to live his life. Although confused and mystified by this, Frank tries his best to start living life to the fullest. But the appearance of a mystery woman, and onset of hallucinations have him questioning every decision he makes.
Is Frank having a dream, or is this real? Find out in Delusion (Photo courtesy of Christopher Di Nunzio)

Is Frank having a dream, or is this real? Find out in Delusion (Photo courtesy of Christopher Di Nunzio)

        The story itself is an ambitious one, especially for a filmmaker whose experience to date includes only one other fictitious feature. Included within are several dream sequences, visions and supernatural elements, all of which I’m sure were difficult to shoot on a tight budget. I asked filmmaker DiNunzio how he came up with the story. He said, “It was based off of an old script. I pretty much took what I liked [from that] and just started reworking the story. I added some crazy theories and stuff I was reading about at the time. I really liked the complexity of it. It's hard to say where it came from, but I know my goal for the film was to create something a little more slow moving than my last film (A Life Not to Follow, 2015), and a little more controlled with the shots and tempo.”
        In reading some other reviews of the film, it seems that the slower pace annoyed people. That wasn’t the case for me though. True,
Delusion isn’t a mile a minute action flick, but slowing things down allows for more character development and deeper expression of the story itself.
        The film has some of the traditional small budget indie quirks, such as stiff line delivery at times, rough sound quality in some shots, and some scenes that were a little too dark to see what was going on, but Di Nunzio’s ardent drive to tell a great story shines through regardless of these minor hiccups.
        When I asked Di Nunzio what he’d hoped to achieve with the film he said, “There's themes of mental illness, the loss of a loved one, and [the] supernatural. I feel if you're looking for a deeper meaning you can find one. I tried to give the script layers, which usually helps or encourages that type of thinking. It was written in a way [that] doesn't answer all the questions, (it asks more questions than [there are] answers in fact), but I'm hoping people can put their own spin on it. In the end that's what I was hoping for. I love films that do that [because] I feel like you can personalize it for yourself.”
Frank and Isabella discuss life in Delusion (Photo courtesy of Christopher Di Nunzio)

Frank and Isabella discuss life in Delusion (Photo courtesy of Christopher Di Nunzio)

        He’s right that there are more questions than answers left by the time the credits roll, but that doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the film in the least.
Delusion is categorized as a horror film, but I think it’d fit better as a psychological thriller. Throughout the film both the audience and the main character Frank are left in the dark as to how the letter arrived when it did, is Isabella (Frank’s wife) really dead, and are the visions Frank has real or entirely imaginary, among other things. It’s in piecing things together afterwards that your own personal spin occurs.
Delusion is a fascinating take on grief and the things people endure to get through it and keep on living. Di Nunzio proves what can be done as filmmaker with a micro budget if you have enough drive and ambition, which should serve as inspiration to aspiring filmmakers everywhere. I’m eager to see where this high reaching filmmaker goes next as his career takes off!

Delusion is not rated, was written and directed by Christopher Di Nunzio and stars David Graziano, Jami Tennille, Irina Peligrad, Kris Salvi, Justin Thibault and Carlyne Fournier. More information about Delusion and Christopher Di Nunzio can be found here:

  • Christopher Di Nunzio on IMDB