A very strong case could be made for the fact that the “found footage” craze has run its course, has nothing left to give but, a person that would speak those words has obviously not yet had the opportunity to experience THE KAOS BRIEF, a well directed, well acted indie feature that is more than worth your time.
The past weekend in Hudson, Ohio the Horror Hotel Film Festival occurred and among the variety of non-stop screenings, THE KAOS BRIEF made its Northeast Ohio debut. Director JP Mandarino was on hand to introduce his handy-work and promised to answer questions after the screening and he proved to be a man of his word but, that is for another article.
The premise is your basic found footage fare, with a bit of a twist. This found footage is being released by a hacker group known as KAOS, in an attempt to expose the scary, startling truth of what happened to a bunch of young friends during a camping trip and the few days following.
After the opening segment where all that is explained we plunge head first into what unveils itself to be a tight, well thought out conspiracy tale that manages to thrill as much as intrigue. Oh sure – you can’t help but see the influence of the films that came before it – and how tropes of the UFO genre are rather masterfully inserted throughout. The Men in Black show up, we get bright orbs, lost time, you name it, it’s in there but, it’s used to good effect and to propel our young Vloggers deeper and deeper into a situation over which they have no control and even less understanding.
Director Mandarino goes to great pains to make sure the continuity (which, let’s face it, can be sorely lacking in films of this ilk) remains intact and that at the end of the day, the story is complete and well told, all the while managing not to fall victim to the very traps that he himself is setting for his audience. I guess what I’m trying to say is – this movie rocks pretty hard. Just when you think the found footage genre has gone and given us all it has to give – it finds itself again.
Not much in the way of SFX, most of the alien action is achieved through a tight use of lighting and acting. We do get a little blood action when some tracking probes need to be removed and a bloody nose makes a call. The Kaos Brief relies heavily on atmosphere and intrigue and they pull it off, they truly do.
Here’s your official synopsis straight from the director:
“In The KAOS Brief, a secret group known as KAOS releases hacked footage filmed by four high school seniors, aspiring Vloggers Skylar, his twin sister Dakota, and their boyfriends, Corey and Tren. In it, the footage reveals their terrifying ordeal after witnessing mysterious lights in the sky on a camping trip. Even after they return to their quiet suburban home, the teenagers are plagued by strange and unnerving events that can only be explained as being tied to Skylar’s uploading of their camping footage to his video channel. Tensions rise as they struggle to figure out what is happening and how to escape their seemingly all-knowing predators as the movie races to its climactic and shocking end.”
Currently playing the festival circuit and actively looking for distribution, you should keep an eye and if THE KAOS BRIEF makes an appearance anywhere near you – go give it a view. I would say a release is all but guaranteed, just a matter of how soon somebody nabs this one up.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fine acting of Drew Lipson, Charlie Morgan Patton, Marco DelVecchio, and Akanimo Eyo, fine actors all.
This little indie film manages to score itself an impressive 7.5 out of 10!