By Kayla Caldwell
his weekend, Hulu and Into the Dark’s latest installation, DELIVERED, will take Mother’s Day and flip it on its head. DELIVERED is a twisted tale of two, battling mothers who have different motivations, but the same end goal.
The story follows Valerie (Natalie Paul), a soon-to-be first-time mom, who meets fellow pregnant lady Jenny (Tina Majorino) at a special yoga class. Jenny is earnest, wholesome, and desperate to please. She quickly invites Val, and husband Tom (Michael Cassidy) over for dinner at her large, isolated, out-of-the-way farmhouse.
With all of the horror I watch and true crime podcasts I listen to, I can only imagine I would be the most paranoid pregnant lady. Val, I’m afraid, suffered from the exact opposite issue. She was far too trusting of someone she had only just met. Of course, no victim blaming here - no one could have imagined the outcome waiting for Val.
There is something not quite right with Jenny. But you'll never guess what it is. True crime fans might recall terrifying stories like that of Sarah Brady, or the late Marlen Ochoa-Lopez. It is, however, a work of fiction.
I’ll try my best not to spoil any of the fun here, so I’ll leave the twists and turns for you to discover for yourself. What I will say, is Paul is believable and relatable as Val, even as the situation grows stranger and stranger. Majorino is an absolute joy as Jenny. It’d be easy to compare her to Annie Wilkes from Misery.
But Majorino’s performance is far more than an homage or parody. She adds a relatable desperation to Jenny, that makes you understand her, even as she spirals into madness. That, of course, is not to say that anything Jenny does is acceptable or valid, but there is at least enough backstory and character development that you can see how she ended up where she did.
DELIVERED is unique, because even though there are other characters in the movie, - Tom, Riley (Micah Joe Parker), etc. - it really is all about these two moms. Other characters may have an effect on the plot, but these two women, Jenny and Val, are really the ones driving the story.
Director Emma Tammi does a great job of visually directing the viewer through the story, without just shoving exposition in your face. It’s subtle, but not to the point that you’d risk missing it.
There were a few scenes in DELIVERED that made me genuinely gasp out loud, and as a longtime horror fan, that’s kind of a big deal. Sometimes, maybe days or weeks after seeing a movie, certain scenes will stick out in your brain. You can’t help but want to discuss them with other people. DELIVERED is a movie like that.
It’s a fun new take on a psychological thriller for Into the Dark, one of my absolute favorite of the Blumhouse Television series. DELIVERED will make you think. It will creep you tf out. And it’ll make you laugh here and there, as well. What more could you ask for in a horror movie?
DELIVERED is the May 2020 installment of Into the Dark, and it celebrates the strength, passion, and determination of moms. Of course, it is Into the Dark, so it’s a more macabre take on the traditional Mother’s Day celebration. But, hey, the world is ending, so why not get your blood pumping for a bit with someone else’s [fake] horror story?
DELIVERED is streaming on Hulu beginning May 8. Don’t forget to check back for our interviews with Paul, Majorino, and Tammi.