Captured Seems A Work In Progress But Can Have Potential To Engage The Viewer
Captured. Film Details
Director: Johnnard Harper
Writer: Johnnard Harper
Release Date: 2017
Release Format: Film Festivals
MPAA Rating: N/A
Running Time: 69 min
Jessica has just learned that her brother has died, upon moving into his apartment to pack up his belongings, she noticed an old camera. She begins to hear and see visions only behind the camera or whenever the camera is near. Is it real? Or is she hallucinating?
Captured is written and directed by Johnnard Harper, who stars as well on the film as Dave, the late brother of Jessica.
I found a different synopsis of the film on its FilmFreeWay page:
Devastated by the loss of her brother, Jessica visits her brother apartment to pack his belongings. Upon packing, Jessica finds a camera that sees spirits. She must fight supernatural forces that might want to harm her or help her.
Jonnhard Harper… as Dave Johnson
Denisha Hardeman… as Jessica Johnson
Alexandra Mauro… as Kate Cruise
Drew Shotwell… as James
Bianca Tonsall… as Laura
Captured is now on film festival circulation.
Captured seems influenced by a lot of American supernatural films, notably from remakes of Asian horror films. It has all the clichés you could count for and the story although almost unique, it’s still vaguely familiar and I wasn’t impressed by it. It’s hard to keep the viewer engaged when you notice so many problems in sound editing and setting designs. Visually I’m extremely delicate and Captured didn’t capture at all my attention (pun intended).
Harper contacted me for a review and he told me that Captured was made on a four thousand dollar budget and that he was hoping to expand to make it a bigger feature. After reading this I was already prepared to watch an initial version of the film or a less skilled version of it, anyway. If that’s truly the objective, Harper has to dig a little deeper before releasing out a fresher variant of Captured.
The film may have some factors to be better with Harper pushing boundaries with some plot twists and mixing drama, suspense and supernatural that actually surprised me but for Captured to be a victory he should really concentrate on the small things first, such as acting, camera work, and editing. The editing and cinematography are the leading issues here where color correction isn’t done properly which is a shame because you can feel some potential and with the perfect color and contrast it could easily stand out.
The sound editing bugged me out as well but I know it isn’t simple to edit it… The cinematography could’ve been better especially during the final sequence in the car where the trees and the sky are brutally white and burnt. That should be a no-no for any director, although I know sometimes it’s tough to escape it with such low budget. When a problem like this appears during filming I instinctively change the shot, camera angle, or even the whole scene. These details should remain in Harper’s mind for his future works.
I’m not saying the film is unwatchable. If you forget about all these low points that I detailed above, you can enjoy discovering a charming story with a leading Hardeman being ferocious, charismatic and energetic on screen and a passion behind the camera for filmmaking; but when you put Captured in the same category as other low budget films, it doesn’t shine. Yet.
Since I didn’t watch any of the earliest films from Harper, I couldn’t have the chance to experience his work unfold. I’m positive he has learned a lot throughout his career and I really hope he finds his way into horror practicing even more.
Captured has a lot of problems but it could stand out on its own with hard work in front and behind the camera. It has the ingredients for it. Harper just needs to sit down, reflect and try again. I would definitely be interested in watching Captured 2.0.