A couple plans their next activity together: To kill a random stranger. As they plan, prep, and discuss the possible murder, they start to disagree on things and it becomes clear that one of them is very into the idea of murder while the other is not so much. Written by Nick McAnulty who co-directed with Brian Allan Stewart, this found footage film does a few things right such as casting two leads that are rather unfamiliar, a move reminiscent of Paranormal Activity, and it shoots in a clear manner, meaning that is happening and said can be clearly seen and heard which is something many film of the sub-genre do not pay enough attention to. This film shows what is happening and the emotions very clearly and it works in its favor as it brings the viewer in and let them get invested in the story.
The way the co-directors work together shows unity as it is hard to tell who directed what and that is a cooperation that is rare in horror films. Capture Kill Release uses its resources and its creators’ capacities to their maximum potential. The story is fairly original and the idea of having a couple work together toward killing someone is something this reviewer had not seen before in this sub-genre. The aforementioned cast is led by Jennifer Fraser and Farhang Ghajar, it’s the former’s first credit and the latter’s second credit making them both new to fairly new to acting, which works in the found footage’s advantage. They both turn in good performance with one of them showing more and more worry as the movie advances and the other showing more and more psycho intensity.
They both work well together while also working well against each other at times. They lead this film well and bring much to the low-budget’s table, showing that big names are not always needed and sometimes it’s better to work with less experienced actors. The film’s shooting style, handheld camera mostly, done by the two leads is less annoying than most found footage films of the last two-ish decades, they manage to get things in focus (most of the time) and framed decently with good lighting. This shows planning and careful preparation from the filmmakers and a good attention to details all around. Of course, it is found footage so it does have some issues with some scenes going in and out of focus and the story being limited to what can be self-shot by the two leads. Nevertheless, the film looks decent and is easy to follow.
The effects by Mitchell Stacey are of varied quality; the main piece-de-resistance is not as well done as one would have hoped, but the ample use of blood and its look is good and works well. Not being a found footage fan, it’s difficult for this reviewer to truly get into these types of films, but Capture Kill Release looks good for the sub-genre and has some good ideas. It’s a decent film but not particularly enthralling. The effects are not the best, but good for the budget. The film does not reinvent its sub-genre but it is, to this non-fan of found footage, not the most annoying or disagreeable to watch and it was decent.
Blood in the Snow Film Festival runs until November 27th, 2016.