The Delivered will finally make America scared of Oliver Cromwell. It just took 350+ years, but we’re finally at the point that we can understand his tyranny. The Delivered has often been described as Funny Games meets The Witch. While this description isn’t apt, it does show how the average college aged film fan is no different than a Hollywood bean counter. Why? Because every new concept has to be drilled down to two other concepts.
Charles Dance rules all as the family patriarch that controls the religious order of his home. A former Cromwell soldier, Dance returns home to rule the roost like he did with military wife. The problem is that his wife is desperately looking for a degree of respect. Seeing that it’s the 17th Century that kind of attitude can get you burned at the stake.
Upon returning home from church, Dance and his family find two young people in their barn. Having claimed to be the victims of a robbery, they plead for help. Seeing as how this was the 1600s, Dance can be forgiven for not seeing this coming. What I find odd is that these weirdos aren’t that threatening, but appealing to some.
What follows is less home invasion and horror than you would expect. In fact, it plays like a psycho sexual Knock Knock for the ultra religious. These two lone weirdos from the barn entice the wife and make her engage in sexual activity. The lady eventually bites on what’s going on and enjoys the company of the two young people.
The Delivered was released in the UK back in 2019 under its original title. Honestly, I can see why it took two years to bring it to America. This material is so far removed from the casual viewing American audience that I’m not sure it will connect. But, everybody loves sex freaks making religious prudes get uncomfortable.
British pastoral horror casts a large shadow over horror films. But, it is never effectively pulled upon when needed. What The Delivered does is insane when it comes to the final 20 minutes. Many could be led to believe that the hippie freaks sex up the wife and lead her to overthrow Charles Dance, but that’s not how this historical era worked. The local Sheriff and his grotesque deputy are here to remind you.
I really wish I was more familiar with who played The Sheriff, because he feels like a 1960s European horror villain. Used sparingly, he sneers and climbs into frame to enforce Cromwell’s order on anyone that threatens it. How he handles the threat to Cromwell’s domain is brutal and will only serve to upset the sensitive viewers.
TROY’S RANT ON THE DELIVERED
The last decade or so has taught me that either horror tastes change with culture or you age in and out of trends. That being said, no one under 21 is going to enjoy this movie. Hell, you might have a true British horror nerd that digs The Delivered, but that’s going to be a 1 in 240,000 drop in the bucket.
Charles Dance might get some attention from his work on Game of Thrones and other contemporary offerings, but that’s about it. You can do mature horror and films to entertain the masses. But, what do you do when the masses are too dumb to understand what you’re laying down?
Something to think about.
A FINAL THOUGHT ON THE DELIVERED
Given how many things are arriving on January 15th, it’s going to be a packed release day. I recommend trying to make some time to watch The Delivered at least once.