There was a time when I absolutely loved the found footage sub-genre, I just couldn’t get enough of it. I would search high and low for the latest films, but quickly that love started to turn into loathing, as everyone and their uncle were making found footage films and they were all the same. Someone running, screaming, shaking the camera as they run from “something” in a house, a mansion, a forest… It was and for the most part still is a vicious cycle of the tired overused formula.
Thankfully, not everyone has the same idea when it comes to found footage, in fact, you can still craft an excellent story while giving that semi-realistic feel and that’s where Nick McAnulty and Brian Allan Stewart’s Capture Kill Release comes in, they’ve given made me fallen back in love with a sub-genre that I became to loathe.
Capture Kill Release follows Jenn (Jennifer Fraser) and Farhang (Farhang Ghajar), a young married couple who suddenly have the urge to film and document the murder of a random stranger. At first it seems a little ridiculous, but then, how many people have fantasized about killing someone? Hell, I have, probably more times than I wish to count, so the idea of a couple talking about a murder isn’t that crazy and even when they start meticulously planning the entire event, it’s still a fantasy.
But what if your partner, lover, wife or husband was serious about it? Would you still love them, would you even help? Well, this is the case with Jenn and Farhang. Jenn is so fixated on this idea that when they’re out and about scoping out potential victims for their “fantasy,” Jenn describes it as a buffet. And while Farhang seems to be joking and having a bit of fun as they plan out the perfect murder, there’s this glint in his eye, this glint of nervousness, fear, the fear that Jenn may actually go through with this and the fear that he may not be able to stop her.
Soon his fears materialize as Jenn brings their fantasy to life, but will Farhang go through with it or will he put an end to it before it even starts?
The film, for a found footage film is brilliant shot, while it is still very much POV, the cinematography is excellent as it helps engage you with the story, gone is the clichéd shaking and out of focus camera tricks and in stead we have very raw-like footage. This is what makes this film what it is, it just feels raw, it feels as if what we’re seeing is actual found footage. It’s brilliant.
And of course that brings us to the practical effects. They’re outstanding, and again this is credit to the camera work. Everything seems so real, it can get quite gruesome at times and maybe even a few hardened gore-hounds may quiver at a few moments. It’s excellent, revolting, but excellent.
But, while the effects and the camera work are all excellent, it would just fall flat without the talents of Jennifer Fraser and Farhang Ghajar. They play off each other so well and Fraser is utterly compelling. She comes off as this sweet wife, but at the same time, absolutely frightening. She oozes charisma and is pretty much the female equivalent of Patrick Bateman. And thanks to Ghajar, we can sense his fear and desperation as he comes off as so real, their interactions just come off as so natural and again this brings me to my appreciation for the film. It just feels real.
Capture Kill Release is one of the best found footage films I have ever seen. It’s chilling, haunting and utterly compelling, go see this movie.