Monday, May 14, 2018

DVDebut for the James Patterson/Dave Allsop/Alex Francis sci-fi nonsense, CAUGHT

When CAUGHT got its very limited theatrical run this past March, TrustMovies, after reading glowing reviews (glowing for that of a mini-budget sci-fi/alien invasion movie, at least) in both the NY Times and L.A. Times, determined to see it whenever possible. Now that it's out on DVD, he has, and you may consider this his warning.

The film has an interesting premise and an OK first fifteen-or-so minutes. And then it quickly grows dumber and more tiresome.

Written by Dave Allsop and Alex Francis and directed by Jamie Patterson (shown at right), Caught (that title is the most ironic and unusual part of the film) begins with a bunch of exposition (about half of which is unnecessary and misleading) and then one of those situations that fairly screams Don't do it!, which our course our leading characters immediately do.

It's one thing when people you suspect are aliens don't act like humans. Much more problematic is when the actual humans don't either. Add to this a top-heavy and ridiculously loud musical score (credited to Moritz Schmittat) that so effectively drowns out much of the dialog that is spoken once the unmasking occurs that yours truly wished desperately for English subtitles (there are none on the DVD) so that I could better understand the mostly drowned-out, British-accented dialog.

But then, once that music calmed down so that I could actually understand that dialog, it proved silly and tiresome enough for me to quickly wish composer Schmittat back on the job.

Caught combines the sci-fi and home invasion genres, pitting a couple of powerful aliens (above and further above) against a nitwit husband/wife team, but the struggle is so thoroughly unequal from almost the first, and our would-be heroes so incapable of doing much more than babble back and forth to each other rather than take any action. When they finally do, of course, it's too little too late.

Grizzly murder, endangered children and good old-fashioned photography (the film takes place in 1972, so no internet, cell phones and the like) come to the fore. Regarding that photography, however, one might wonder how any decent photographer could take a photo of something so clearly shocking and yet not be at all aware of what he had photographed. Better not to even address this.

Performances are as good as they can be, under these strained circumstances, but the movie consistently pulls its punches regarding everything from offering explanations to allowing us to see that shocking photo (our heroes view it, above, but we're not made privy -- undoubtedly for budgetary reasons). The single punch the film does not pull is its willingness to go the dark and ugly route. If dark and ugly is your thing, you may find Caught more worthwhile than I.

From Great Point Media and Cinedigm, the movie hit the street on DVD last Tuesday, May 1, and is available now for purchase and/or rental.

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