“Capsules” is a contemporary cautionary tale and a modern-day fable with an intriguing concept, but your mileage may vary.
If someone offered you a pill, would you take it not knowing what it is? That’s the scenario explored in Capsules.
Chemistry students Ryan (Davis Browne), Maya (Kate Pittard), and Dev (Caroline Potter) are planning to study. Ryan mentions that his classmate Jasper (Marcus Fahey) is a brilliant student and wants to invite him to help them study. As they return, they find an elderly man (David Dotterer) lying in the street. After they help him up, they find a vial filled with homemade pills. Ryan pockets the pills.
During the evening, they talk about getting high, and eventually, Ryan pulls out the pills.
Ryan is the first to take one, then Maya, with Dev and Jasper hesitantly following. They vomit, then segue into a hallucinogenic haze for a bit. However, they realize they will die once the drug leaves their system.
The two brainiest students in the group, Jasper and Dev, work to figure out what is in the pills. Unable to do that, they decide to find the elderly man. We find out he is a known local figure called “The Zombie,” who walks around town in a daze. As the doses dwindle, the group races to find a solution to their problem. As they do, their situation spirals out of control.
Written by Luke Momo and Davis Browne and directed by Momo, Capsules presents a thought-provoking scenario.
At a brisk 70 minutes long, it progresses rather quickly.
The cast has great chemistry, and the characters are vividly drawn.
Ryan and Maya are more free-spirited, while Dev and Jasper are more cautious and responsible. They succumb to peer pressure, perhaps idle curiosity or even just wanting to break free of their straight-laced mold with their free-spirited friends.
Dark lighting contrasts with bright neon light and psychedelic music, creating a psychedelic atmosphere that fits the film’s subject.
The film’s message is straightforward: choices come with unpredictable consequences we may not be prepared to deal with.
The story becomes hyperbolic as the students go to bizarre lengths to find the solution to their problem.
Capsules is not a film for everyone. I was far from the edge of my seat while watching. However, I wouldn’t say it was uninteresting either.
A strong cast and believable characters help elevate this film, but genre fans may not find this thriller quite as frightening or captivating as they hope.