The found footage film has been around for a long time, at least since 1980 and CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. However it wasn’t until THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT in 1999 that the genre became popular. Unfortunately, many of the films since then have fallen into the trap of a lot of shaky camera footage captured by people who in real life would not still be filming. A few, like GRAVE ENCOUNTERS, have made the wiser choice of using stationary camera, unfortunately the whole ghost hunter/tv crew sub genre also got beaten into the ground. Now, with many people giving up on found footage, directors Nick McAnulty and Brian Allan Stewart (UNCLE BRIAN which McAnulty directed and cowrote with Stewart) try to save it with the polished but brutal CAPTURE KILL RELEASE.
CAPTURE KILL RELEASE follows a couple Jenn (Jennifer Fraser) and Farhang (Farhang Ghajar also from UNCLE BRIAN) as they make plans to kidnap and kill a stranger just for the thrill of it, and to capture it all on camera. They choose their victim, but things don’t go as planned and they end up killing somebody else. Things become further complicated when one of them starts having regrets while the other wants to kill again.
Starting off very light and playful as the pair go shopping for weapons and discussing potential victims, I almost expected it to turn into some kind of a comedy. A scene where discussing disposing of a corpse turns the couple on to the point they go at it over the bathtub is the first hint this isn’t just a silly game. At about the half hour mark though the tone changes considerably as much to her partner’s objection, Jenn drowns a cat. The scene is unexpected and disturbing, sending the film down the rabbit hole into some very dark places.
The central performances really hold the film together, they look like the typical couple next door publicly while behind closed doors reveal their true selves. Farhang is extremely convincing as the loving husband who realizes all too late what he’s gotten into. Jenn is nothing short of astounding, girl next door cute and charismatic one minute, blood chillingly psychotic the next. This is her first film and I hope it’s not her last.
Using practical and realistic effects the scenes of violence are gruesome and effective. There’s no over the top blood sprays or gore, just what one would expect to see during a killing or the dismembering of a dead body, and that fits the film’s realistic tone perfectly.
On the other hand, some of the film’s publicity references the “Ken and Barbie Killers” which gave me a false idea of what to expect. There’s very little connection between the film and the actual murders and rapes committed by Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo.
Midnight Releasing has announced the MOD premiere of Capture Kill Release. A made on demand DVD will be available via Amazon. If you’re up for a film that will disturb and unnerve you, it’s worth buying or renting.