Directed by Giorgio Armato
Due to the way in which Closed Circuit is shot, it means the furthest we actually get from leaving the house is the garden path. Giorgio has cleverly stiched together a story from the static, motion-sensitive cameras and though it can be a touch slow at times, the result is highly effective. To add realism to the story, we catch footage of cats running along the garden fence or outside the gate, triggering the hidden cameras, just as it would do in reality. After initially planting the cameras, Daniele and Claudia return to the house, whilst Davide is at work, to check on the proficiency of the cameras and to setup a few more in other rooms. Claudia is keen to check on the footage but Daniele is adamant that they will refrain from doing so until the camera has used 10GB of memory.
Suspect Davide De Santis is a middle aged man and nothing about him from the offset seems odd. We watch as he comes home from work, eats pizza, plays some of his CDs, waters his Bonsai tree, gets undressed and showers. The cameras remain static throughout and do not follow the subject around like the ones operated in reality TV series Big Brother. Giorgio Amato ensures every last detail of normal life is captured including Davide urinating and casually walking around the house stark naked. It’s only when he starts receiving visitors does the footage content get really interesting. It appears he has placed an advert in the local paper looking for a babysitter for his three year old son, but he turns down the first middle aged applicant as he can only afford a low wage and that his wife would prefer a university student or someone younger. Slowly but surely the viewer becomes glued to the screen, curious as to how the camera footage will play out. Is he really a weirdo or is he just an innocent being plagued by two paranoid students?
Full marks go to the cast who’s realism shines through in this low budget, found footage style mockumentary. It takes a great deal to act subtly and the two student characters played by Francesca Cuttica and Guglielmo Favilla come across as very likable, encouraging the viewer to join them on the quest for the truth. Francesca Cuttica can also be seen in the upcoming Paura 3D, as well as The Arrival of Wang. It comes as no surprise that the Manetti brothers who created both those films are the ones that have produced Closed Circuit. An outstanding performance by Stefano Fregni who plays Davide De Santis, the enigmatic gardener who shuffles around the house in socks and sandals. The unassuming character keeps the viewers guessing until all is revealed as the story progresses.
A slow build up leads to a delightful latter half that will have you wincing with no option to look elsewhere. The fly-on-the-wall, claustrophobic approach amplifies the fear and ensures you take in the sights in all their brutal glory. An inspired debut from director Giorgio Amato.