[Movie Review] CAPSULES

[Movie Review] CAPSULES

Have you ever been on YouTube or TikTok and found videos of obnoxious people being high or drunk? Did you think to yourself, ‘Man, I’d love to watch that but make it a feature-length horror movie?’ Of┬ácourse not. But here we are with CAPSULES.

CAPSULES is a film written by Davis Browne and Luke Momo, and directed by the latter. It stars Caroline Potter Shriver, Kate Pittard, Davis Browne, Marcus Fahey, and a silent David Dotterer.

So three terrible and obnoxious people (Caroline Potter Shriver, Kate Pittard, Davis Browne) and one guy (Marcus Fahey), who they bully, decide to get high while studying for their chemistry degrees. Along the way to get high, though, they run into a mysterious old man (David Dotterer) who drops some mysterious pills.

Later on, like any sane adult, they take the pills for reasons generally left unexplained. After having a near-death experience, they conclude that they must keep taking the pills to stay alive. But what will they do when they run out of CAPSULES?

I was actually really excited to watch CAPSULES for two things – its premise and promise of practical effects. I liked the idea of these mystery pills and the potential science behind them, but that’s not what happens. As for the practical effects from Ashley K. Thomas, if chunky Ecto Cooler barf is your thing, you might enjoy it. Otherwise, it’s just eh.

There are some interesting shots that felt authentic and clean. They showed a deeper sense of the characters, such as the reflection scene and the one they show on the poster of the three characters looking down during a bad trip. The shots from cinematographer Harrison Kraft were practical enough to show what was happening with clarity and conciseness but also stylized to add more depth to the story and characters.

I don’t want to say that the acting was bad because I really feel like the actors, especially poor Kate Pittard, did not have much to work with. The characters were bland, obnoxious, and, ultimately, terrible people. It’s hard to get any sense of tension or drama when you’re ambivalent at best for their survival. Ultimately, it doesn’t make a fun or interesting watch.

The thing that irritated me the most was just the plot contrivance and how everything was deduced. It reminded me of the pivotal “Little Richard” scene in the incredible film Black Dynamite and the pure stupidity to get from Point A to Point Z. There were so many times that moments of truth were offered up as facts and the other characters just went with it without any real questioning or argument. This ended up creating a lack of authentic rise of tension. Instead, I kept thinking, ‘But why?’

I’m not trying to poo-poo CAPSULES, but there were just some real leaps of logic and such lackluster characters. Nothing is cohesive, which makes it read jumbled. If stylized a bit more to reflect the drug use, that could have been a much more compelling watch. At the end of the day, CAPSULES was just a hard pill to swallow.

CAPSULES is on demand on March 31, 2023.

J.M. Brannyk
Movie Reviews

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