Yikes! And I thought HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER was disturbing...
Lots of movies document the dissolution of a relationship, but it's usually because of infidelity or fading romance or something. In CAPTURE KILL RELEASE (2016), it's because one member of the couple is a budding homicidal psychopath, and the other one isn't quite ready to follow along merrily down the path to full-blown serial killerdom.
This is another "found footage" movie, but it works because the documentation of the act and everything before and after it is such a vital element of the ritual for Jenny (Jennifer Fraser), an otherwise normal-looking person who's giddy as a schoolgirl at the thought of the random murders she's so meticulously planning.
Her normal-looking husband, Farhang (Farhang Ghajar), is also caught up in the waves of excitement emanating from his wife, but only as long as it remains a sort of fantasy-pretend thing that isn't really going to happen. It's even kind of a turn-on at first. The poor guy just has no idea what he's in for.
Co-directors Nick McAnulty and Brian Allan Stewart achieve a remarkable sense of "Blair Witch"-style realism that makes everything we see all the more effective. This is amplified immeasurably by some spot-on, heavily improvised performances, especially by Jennifer Fraser who's so good she's simply fascinating to watch.
Fraser, in fact, is a major factor in the film's success thanks to her ability to convincingly portray the contrast between Jenny the bubbly, enthusiastic child-woman, and Jenny the stone-cold, bloodthirsty butcher who relishes each new atrocity like a gourmet of gore. (She reminds me of a cross between Sarah Silverman and Patrick Bateman.)
As horrible as things get--and they do get horrible, take my word for it--her girlish sense of fun remains a chilling indication of just how far around the bend her mental state has really gone.
Meanwhile, CAPTURE KILL RELEASE just keeps chugging along inexorably towards its inevitable outcome, leaving a trail of horror in its wake, while we watch in rapt suspense, or dread, or whatever this feeling is that I can't quite shake long after the fade-out.
One thing's for sure--it goes where most other horror movies don't go, and shows what they don't show, so if you're squeamish, prepare to be squeamed.
The bathtub sequence alone contains more concentrated gore than most viewers will see in their lifetimes, and it's all extremely realistic. You sorta already have to be a gorehound, in fact, just to make it through some of this stuff without freaking out.
The film also has the aura of one of those true-crime books by authors like Ann Rule, the kind of dark, demented stuff that used to make me feel bad even as I found it perversely compelling to read. Much of it, in fact, seems inspired by well-known accounts such as the "Barbie and Ken" killers and various "basement of horror" tales.
Needless to say, CAPTURE KILL RELEASE isn't recommended for everyone. As (1) an exercise in graphic gore, and (2) a deeply disturbing exploration of gleeful, homicidal insanity, it's an unqualified success both on the visceral and artistic levels. But I feel like I just went a few rounds with this movie and got gut-punched.
VOD Available March 7 on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, XBox, FlixFling and more
MOD Physical Release to be available exclusively from Amazon.com