Capture Kill Release (2016) – Film Review

capture kill release film review

Directors: Nick McAnulty & Bian Allan Stewart
Cast: Jennifer Fraser, Farhang Ghajar
Certificate: 18

by Sarah Morgan

I’m no stranger to horror films; I’ve been watching them for as long as I can remember, so when the opportunity to see the movie that won the Best Horror Feature award at last year’s Shriekfest in Los Angeles, I jumped at the chance. Now, I wish I hadn’t.

By now, we’re all familiar with the idea of found footage films – the ones that look as if they were shot by the central characters and have a sort of amateur, documentary-style to them. The Blair Witch Project kicked off the trend for such things; the likes of Paranormal Activity, REC, Cloverfield and Trollhunter are other notable examples.

The makers of Capture Kill Release were clearly hoping to follow in their footsteps, but in attempting to do so, they have failed to be inventive, opting instead to revolt, disgust and annoy the audience.

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At the centre of the piece is a particularly irritating performance from Jennifer Fraser as, funnily enough, Jen, a happily married woman living in a nice suburban home with her devoted husband Farhang (played by Farhang Ghajar).

She’s just bought a video camera so that the couple can document their every move as they carry out their latest fantasy – to capture, kill and dispose of a stranger, just for kicks.

They’re seen nipping out to the US equivalent of their nearest B&Q to buy the tools they need for the job, but things start to go wrong when she insists on kidnapping a neighbour’s cat and drowning it, as a kind of practice run for the main event.

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At July’s Harrogate Crime Writing Festival, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid claimed that you could do anything to your characters, but if you kill a dog or a cat in your novel, you would receive hate mail from readers – so perhaps it was my repulsion at this scene (I fast-forwarded through it) that ultimately turned me off.

After that, it becomes clear that Farhang is no longer on board with Jen’s plan. What follows is a lot of bickering and shouting, the kind of behaviour you’d see on any episode of EastEnders, the difference being that rather than arguing about relationships, Jen and Farhang witter on about who’s going to clean up which blood spatter.

Frankly, if I never have to think about Capture Kill Release again, I’ll be very happy. And if this is the direction in which horror cinema is going, I want no part of it. Give me Hammer Horror over this cruel nonsense any day of the week.


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