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While we’re no longer in the “middle” of a countrywide gun debate, some people walk on eggshells, waiting for the next mass shooting to occur. These are the people who will devolve into a paranoid mental dystopia once they watch Alexandre Moors’ Blue Caprice, the psychological thriller chronicling the relationship between the D.C. snipers John Allen Muhammad (Isaiah Washington) and his arguably brainwashed protégé Lee Boyd Malvo (Tequan Richmond). If the whole film is anywhere near as chilling as the above trailer, released by iTunes Movie Trailers, then I wonder if my own pessimism-fueled mind even wants to handle it.
It’s strange to think that the Beltway murders, and the few before them, happened all the way back in October 2002. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that it feels like less time has passed. From the very beginning of this trailer, watching Muhammad purchasing the titular vehicle, I felt on edge. Taking in the drab blues and grays of the city that Moors mixes with sporadic moments of color, I dreaded each of those those inevitable final moments, when the barrel of the gun came peeking through the hole drilled into the trunk, and then again right after the title card when the Caprice shut off its engine at the gas pump. The real-life implications of such a moment, to me, ring far scarier than most horror movies out there. There are no real ghosts in the backstory to The Conjuring, but there is a very real pathologically insane man that inspired Blue Caprice.
Isaiah Washington gained a lot of his own buzz when the film debuted at Sundance earlier this year, and he’s a dead-eyed menace as Muhammad, who begins to take over the mind of the juvenile Malvo, as portrayed with determinism by Everybody Hates Chris’ Richmond. It’s enough to make one wonder why Washington didn’t rebound from the Grey’s Anatomy firing in a bigger way by now.
While I have no idea what kind of awards recognition a film like this might get, it should definitely set Moors’ career down a path to potential greatness. It was screenwriter R.F.I. Porto’s first film, so we’ll see how tight a narrative he was able to get out of this national tragedy.
Co-starring Tim Blake Nelson and Joey Lauren Adams, Blue Caprice will threateningly coast through theaters on September 13, and will release on VOD days later on September 17. Just in case you didn’t feel like getting in your car to drive home.