CAPTURE KILL RELEASE (2016)
Directed by Nick McAnulty and Brian Allan Stewart
A young woman treats herself to a digital HD camcorder and convinces her husband to help her act out a life-long desire; make a snuff film.
Whenever we watch found footage movies, it’s usually the victims that end up recording their activities, with the horror lying just around the corner, out of view, ready to strike. Very rarely do we get a found footage movie taken by the aggressors with only House with 100 Eyes immediately springing to mind (I’m sure there’s plenty more). CAPTURE KILL RELEASE wants to throw its hat into the mix with its tale of one woman’s desire to kill and film the entire pre-planning, execution and aftermath of the murder, with a little help of her devoted husband, Farhang.
Seemingly loosely inspired by the Barbie and Ken murders, the viewer is taken on a journey of personal interest as Jennifer (Jennifer Fraser), a seemingly normal young woman, suddenly takes on a sinister edge of wanting to physically kill someone and record the entire thing on her shiny new camcorder. As this lifelong dream revealed itself, I sat in disbelief how a hip young woman, pouting and pulling faces in the lens of her new toy, could have a deep, dark desire to extinguish a person’s life. However, as she discusses whether a saw is big enough to saw through a body at her local hardware store, I came to the realisation that this is how murderers think: killing someone is absolutely normal. We’re exposed to that many horror films that lay the antagonist’s exploits on so thick that when something as realistic as this comes as a bit of a shock. There’s no caricaturish boogeymen here. Just a girl who wishes to paint her bathroom scarlett and she has just the victim in mind…
CAPTURE KILL RELEASE doesn’t mind making the viewer a voyeur into its depravity. With Jennifer hellbent on creating her own splatterfest, her yearnings made public at every given opportunity, attention turns to her spouse and his opinion on the whole thing. Helping to pick out tools to off their victim and practicing cutting meat with his new power tool, husband Farhang doesn’t paint a very convincing sympathetic picture when he decides to act out his wife’s criminal desires despite apparently not wanting to indulge in the old blood letting. Like a scene out of The Simpsons when Homer is attempting to resist eating his best friend Mr Pinchy whilst taking big mouthfuls, Farhang’s protests have no real substance as he does his wife’s bidding anyway. Though Jennifer is indeed the driving force of the whole saga, Farhang’s defence comes off as rather weak.
Played as straight as can be, CAPTURE KILL RELEASE is an interesting little film when it comes down to it. Playing for realism rather than OTT shocks, the film gets under your skin and makes you wish these gruesome twosome get caught. Jennifer’s “I don’t give a fuck’ attitude makes her a real dangerous character, one that we see definitely means business when one night, restless at the fact their planning stage is taking so long, decides to go and steal the neighbour’s cat. You can probably imagine what comes next but the film gladly shows you and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Just wait until you see incredibly realistic body parts being sworn off – that’ll make you squirm.
Overall, CAPTURE KILL RELEASE is a solid found footage flick that echoes a snuff film brilliantly. However, when it boils down to it, the storyline just seems too simplistic to really entertain, even if it is executed well. Another gripe that really stands out like an eyesore is the switching persona of Farhang, who is vehemently against killing one minute and in the next frame is sawing someone to pieces. This flip-flopping kind of ruins the atmosphere and even if it stablises at the end of the movie, it’s a little too late and becomes a bit far-fetched in terms of the plot. Despite this, CAPTURE KILL RELEASE is fast-flowing and ferocious fictional snuff that will no doubt please horror buffs.