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Population Zero.

Courtesy of Red Eye Media

3 out of 4 stars

Title
Population Zero
Written by
Jeff Staranchuk
Directed by
Adam Levins and Julian T. Pinder
Starring
Adam Levins, Julian T. Pinder
Genre
Mystery
Classification
14A
Country
Canada/USA
Language
English
Year
2017

Cleverly told as a faux documentary, Population Zero involves a fictional triple homicide and a real legal loophole just big enough to drive a movie through.

The title of the compelling, low-budget film of the found-footage-horror sort refers to a strip of land in Yellowstone National Park where nobody lives – a zilch situation that allows for no jury of one's peers, thus allowing for a perfect-crime "zone of death" and a strangely confessional and unemotional murderer to go free and clear. Well, clear, that is, until a documentary filmmaker receives an anonymous e-mail that sets him and his cohort cinematographer on a case that reveals itself in a tidy – okay, a little contrived – and suspenseful-enough fashion.

Add to that some twisted frontier justice, topical environmental messaging and serious big-sky-country stoicism, and we have a novel if earnest cross-genre thriller.

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