As if the title isn't a dead giveaway, we realise this is another 'found footage' flick immediately when it opens with text explaining that what we are about to see is video evidence edited together from police records.

Enter Daniele (Guglielmo Favilla), a videography student who, along with his girlfriend Claudia (Francesca Cuttica), we first meet slipping into a house via the kitchen window and rigging up a series of hidden surveillance cameras around the place. We quickly learn that their female friend recently went missing and that they suspect the house's owner, oversized gardener David (Stefano Fregni) of having murdered her.

So, they plan to film his activities and break into the house each day while he's out to retrieve their evidence so far.

What they actually get to begin with is lots of footage of David coming and going up his small garden path, getting in and stripping to his underpants, grabbing a beer, lying on his bed scratching his big hairy belly and so on.

The following day's results show pretty much the same routine.

They do actually collate footage of David interviewing a couple of young women in his home for the position of babysitter. Although there is no trace of a wife or child, these interviews don't really suggest anything overtly sinister is going on. Perhaps the fact that one interviewee's brother calls her while she's there is enough to save her bacon...

Eventually, after what feels like the longest slog, David is actually caught on camera interviewing brunette Nadia (Gaia Insenga). When he reveals to her that he doesn't really have a wife, she flips and makes a beeline for the front door. He grapples with her and drags her back into the house. And, finally, he does something a little more evil than scratching his arse.

One protracted scene of abuse later, and then it's time for Claudia to return through the kitchen window to make her daily footage retrieval (Daniele by this time has been incapacitated off-screen). The difference with this visit is that we now know the danger she's in...

Fuck me, this is terrible. Just terrible.

For starters, it looks like shit. I realise we're going for a lo-fi aesthetic here, but everything's so murky and gritty that it really does look like someone's thrown a net curtain over the camera lens. Motionless photography stays true to the notion of hidden cameras catching the action naturally, but don't make for a very interesting feature-length prospect.

Fair play to the Italian actors performing in English (though I'm not sure why they needed to?). However, the results don't warrant applause. The performances are horrendously unconvincing, with characters often emphasising the wrong dialogue. Of course, this provokes more titters than intrigue. Imagine a dodgy European porno, without the sex.

And why the Hell is the film liberally punctuated (seriously, every 5 seconds or so) with jagged video interference-type edits that come complete with a static noise on the soundtrack which sounded like the lad from "John's Not Mad" having one of his spitting seizures? Irritating doesn't even begin to cover it.

By the time the film changes course halfway through, viewers have already endured 40 minutes of tedium (unless Claudia singing into the bathroom's hidden camera gets you off). The ensuing prolonged rape scene is discomfiting - I concede, the performances of both aggressor and victim are suddenly quite effective here - but that's not really a recommendation.

Those looking for tension, or even gore, are going to be sorely disappointed. The biggest mystery is how the Manetti Bros (PAURA 3D) came to attach themselves to writer-director Giorgio Amato's shitty little film as "presenters". Unsurprisingly, the whole fiasco is said to have cost just 160 Euros to make.

MVD Visual's region 0 DVD presents the film uncut and in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Such is the style in which the film was shot, on rudimentary surveillance cameras, that just about the only good to be said about the visuals here is that the transfer is anamorphic.

English 2.0 audio is decent enough throughout, but I ask again ... why the fuck are this all-Italian cast speaking in English, especially when the film appears to be based in Rome?

The disc opens to an animated main menu page. From there, an animated scene selection menu offers access to the movie via 11 chapters.

An original trailer, mercifully only a minute in length, is the only extra feature on offer.

CLOSED CIRCUIT EXTREME hits another nail into the coffin of the long-past-its-sell-by-date "found footage" genre, hard.

Review by Stuart Willis

Released by JINGA FILMS
Region All NTSC
Not Rated
Extras :
see main review