Some killers are born. Others are driven to it.
A narrative feature film inspired by the events known as the Beltway sniper attacks.
A narrative feature film inspired by the events known as the Beltway sniper attacks.
In 2002 the Washington area was gripped with fear after a series of random and seemingly senseless sniper attacks resulted in the deaths of ten people. It was big news across the globe made all the more chilling as there was no rhyme or reason to the killers’ targets. Blue Caprice, the debut feature from Alexandre Moors, attempts to explore the events that led up to the random murders.
Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond star as the two men responsible for the killings dubbed the Beltway sniper attacks. Beginning months before the attacks in Antigua, Lee (Richmond) an impressionable teen abandoned by his own mother, is taken in by Washington’s John, a seemingly benevolent family man on holiday with his…
Sixteenth watch of Noir-Vember. In 2002, several American cities were terrorised through a series of sniper attacks that killed a dozen people. This is the shooters’ story. Blue Caprice plays out like an origin-story, but not a superhero themed one for a change. We see a sixteen years old boy being raised through adolescence by a ‘father’ who by means of a strongly manifested power relation begins to employ his ‘son’ as the slaughtering tool that he needs to realise his dystopian fantasy. It makes for an interesting manner of storytelling, because the killings never actually take centre stage (the majority of the shootings are stuffed in the last twenty minutes or so); instead, Blue Caprice focuses its attention on…
The best horror movie of the year?
Superbly acted character study that chooses [for better or worse] to focus on the relationship between the menacing father figure and his young quasi-adoptive accomplice, and what led up to them embarking on their spree of terror that rocked the D.C./Maryland/Virginia area in the summer of 2002, rather than the actual killings themselves. Isaiah Washington is captivating on-screen as he broods his way into the psyche of a teenage boy he lifted out of poverty in the Caribbean, convincing him that what they are doing is just. Some solid supporting performances by Tim Blake Nelson and Joey Lauren Adams, as well as newcomer Tequan Richmond. What it lacks in pacing and substance it mostly gains back with inspired acting and its ominous mood & tone, aided in large part by a perfect score from Colin Stetson [who was made for a project like this].
It took two viewings to truly appreciate, but Blue Caprice is a stoic, sometimes silent look into the mind of an increasingly desperate mad man. Based on the events surrounding the Beltway Sniper killings a little over a decade ago, we watch as ex-military John Muhammad descends into an inescapable hole of paranoia and madness. With him is a teenage accomplice, the (not legally) adopted orphan John Malvo, who through ritualistic military training and indoctrination becomes as bitter and violent as his adopted father.
The two travel across the country to several locations through Muhammad's friendships and former military associations, with each stop throwing the duo further into the darkness, until Muhammad eventually begins to inspire Malvo to commit murder…
A fascinating and terrifying character study of two killers, Isaiah Washington in the perfect role for his intense brand of performance and youngster Tequan Richmond brooding his way through his first real movie gig, of the grooming of one by the other and the driving on of each other as their incomprehensibly despicable plan comes to fruition.
Director Alexandre Moors takes a slow, thoughtful approach to his material, somewhat akin to Van Sant's Elephant but with much more substance, to what could easily be a sensationalist piece of cinema in the wrong hands. Artful visuals and a sound design that uses silence and white noise in addition to the score, accentuate the claustrophobic mood of the piece and impress upon the viewer the nature of the evil that grows between the two men.
One of the best films of the year.
"Even if we lose, we still wake people up. We still win."
Directed and acted well, just wished the script was able to dig a little deeper into these characters and their motivations. For a film which spends its entirety with these two characters, we need to feel like we understand them a bit more, instead of feeling separated.
Feature film debut of New York residing French filmmaker Alexandre Moors is a well-executed but difficult to watch thriller that's based on a true story by Moors and R.F. I. Porto. It takes educated guesses at what was in the heads of the father and surrogate son killers behind the horrific 2002 Beltway random sniper attacks perpetrated by the twisted brooding father John Allen Muhammed (Isaiah Washington) and the manipulated, psychologically-dependent, 17-year-old Lee Malvo (Tequan Richmond). Their three-week killing spree left ten dead in the area of D.C., Maryland and Virginia, and sent fear across that wide stretch until they were apprehended in a manhunt.
The pic tries to explain the monstrous behavior by an embittered John, in the midst…
Slow-burn true crime horror film from the direct perspective of the mass shooters/spree killers. Another movie that for me is absolutely no fun; I got no joy out of this. Everything just sort of happens and then it doesn't. It's frustrating, much as it would be dealing in the aftermath of psychopaths who shoot random people. It's real life events such as the ones Blue Caprice depicts that makes the Hollywood versions (I'm thinking along the lines of, what is maybe the most popular case of a "chaotic" character over the last ten years, the Joker in The Dark Knight) look confectionery. There's nothing here but darkness.
I watched this film because I liked the Blu-Ray cover. Inspired by the Washington "beltway" sniper attacks in 2002 and the 2 individuals that wreaked havoc.
It's an intriguing film but a really frustrating one. There is no real emotion involved. The characters are slightly robotic in their decisions and actions. This is mostly down to the script. If it was a tad more expressive and showed the turmoil that the 2 leads were going through and also the fear that they must have caused, then it might have been a better film. As an audience we're not really sure what we are supposed to think about these 2 characters. Pity? Anger? Disgust? Maybe all 3. That said, Isiah Washington gives a very, very good performance in this. The guy can clearly act. It's just a shame he didn't have more to work with. Nice Blu-Ray cover though.
This telling of the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks was a bit of a downer. The overall plot was muddled and left a lot of questions as to what direction the movie was going. Although the beginning starts at the end the telling of the events could have had a better direction. A lot of the movie was filled with pointless sequences that didn't resonate the relationship between John Muhammad and Lee Malvo. The relationship itself had its moments on screen but the direction of it made the overall relationship and plot dull to the point that by the time the shootings were occurring I found myself uninterested in what was to happen. This movie could have been better had the direction been different and I rate it a 2/5.
I thought it was good when I first saw it a couple years back, rewatching it I feel that while it's competently made in most aspects it lacks depth.
We don't really get into the skin in any of the DC Snipers, no motives are fully explained or personalities ever fully presented to us viewers, who were these people before they took this route and what was the final snapping point? I learned more about them from skimming through their wikipedias now for a couple minutes than I did from watching this for 90.
And while I understand why the shootings were portrayed as non-graphic as possible in respect to the real victims doing so takes away the seriousness of the situation.
It does have some plus's in terms of cast and in technical aspects it's wellmade but in the end it's just way too cold and distant to make much impact.
Portrait glaçant de deux individus perdus dans un monde indifférent.
As a standalone character study, this is a pretty masterful movie. The pacing and acting are superb. As a telling of real events.......it's not the best. My only assumption is that they didn't want some of the "crazier" aspects of Muhammad's indoctrination over Malvo (black nationalism, sexual abuse, Malvo's detached obsession with the Matrix) to upstage the smaller father/son relationship dynamic they were trying to make their sole focus here. Which is understandable. But without a little bit of that context it's hard to make the leap from these guys just hanging out and couch surfing, straight to Malvo murdering people just to please his "dad".
In reality, Muhammad was less of frustrated divorced dad and more of a wannabe cult leader with an audience of one.