Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario offers a haunting look at the escalating drug war along the American/Mexican border. However, due to obvious legal and safety concerns, Villeneuve and team weren’t able to shoot their film precisely on location. (Most of the action sequences were filmed in New Mexico.) As a result, Sicario relies on special effects to help create its world, filling in the explosions and dead bodies that are hard to replicate, especially on a modest budget.
Sicario’s special effects are used much more subtly than in, say, Avengers. To demonstrate their work, Oblique FX has released a video reel showcasing how certain Sicario scenes were built with special effects. Warning: there are spoilers throughout for anyone who hasn’t seen the film yet.