‘A romantic bloodbath’
Capture Kill Release is a 2016 American horror thriller feature film directed by Nick McAnulty, Brian Allan Stewart from a screenplay by producer McNaulty. It stars Christina Schimmel (The Hospital 2; Hannibal – as victim), Rich Piatkowski (Dead Rush; O Come All Ye Zombies), Jennifer Fraser, Farhang Ghajar and Jon Gates.
It’s found footage time again, although Capture Kill Release manages to transcend the problems of that format by presenting a story that couldn’t really be told in any other way, and by offering up an increasingly dark and disturbing story that will linger in your mind long after the film is over.
Jennifer Fraser and Farhang Ghajar (both using their own first names) are a married couple who seem thoroughly loved up, and when Jen brings home a new video camera, it seems that it will be used simply to film their life together and the occasional limp sex tape. But we immediately get a sense of the sinister when the couple film themselves shopping in a hardware store and discussing what they need to kidnap, murder and dispose of bodies. This is a serial killer couple, albeit one with differing levels of enthusiasm – Jen is the most determined, while Farhang seems happy to play along with the fantasy but more challenged about the reality of killing a stranger.
For the first 50 minutes of the film, it is all planning, and slowly moves from the humorous to the bleak, as it becomes obvious that this is not going to remain a fantasy (early in the film, they sit in a car discussing which groups are and are not suitable victims). Jen becomes fixated on a suited man that she’d had an altercation with, but eventually settles someone else as the first victim. This leads to a murder and body disposal that is amongst the most disturbing and realistic that you’ll ever see – a relentless study in just how hard it is to both kill someone and then get rid of them. As the murder becomes reality, Farhang freaks out and realises that he is in too deep with a genuinely psychotic woman – and things get increasingly more strained as things progress.
This film by Nick McAnulty and Brian Allan Stewart uses the found footage format smartly – it’s integral to the plot, as Jen becomes obsessed with filming, even as it starts to unravel both her relationship and her murderous ideals. I’d say that this is the most effective and essential use of the format since The Blair Witch Project. This film, however, is less interested in building fear as it is in horrifying and distressing the viewer, and it does this very well. A genuine surprise, Capture Kill Release is an authentically horrible horror film, and highly recommended.
David Flint, MOV!ES and MAN!A
Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk
“Capture Kill Release is a fun slice of grisly entertainment. Farhang’s uneasy relationship with murder plays neatly against Jennifer’s enthusiastic acceptance of her vocation. The dynamics between the pair are almost as much fun to watch as the gruesome gore of butchery and barbarism that occurs in the second act of the film. Jennifer Fraser deserved the awards she’s won for this role.” Ashley Lister, UK Horror Scene
“Solid performances in what amounts to a found footage torture porn exercise – doesn’t instill enjoyment, but it does instill technical admiration. I guess you can understand that a film worked on certain levels and still wish you’d never seen it.” Michael Klug, Horrorfreak News
“Scenes of handcuff escape practice, trailing targets, and measuring bathtub dimensions are essential to some degree. Except Capture Kill Release doesn’t need all of the how-to exposition it goes into for much of the movie. There’s a point in the buildup where “just get to it already!” becomes a predominant thought, which is not the right gear to be in for setting up suspense.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt
“Unfortunately, Capture Kill Release doesn’t work. All it felt like was two actors wandering around pretending to be nonchalant and casual about planning murders. You never get any insight into why they decide to do this. Which is fine but when Farhang Ghajar decides that he does not want to go through with the plan, this feels like motivation that comes out of the blue…” Richard Scheib, Moria
In the UK, the film was released on DVD by Eureka Entertainment on September 25, 2017.