Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Capture Kill Release

of 10 viewers "Liked?" "Capture Kill Release" (2016, USA)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

Lord Battle - "Watching films in the Overlook Theatre requires one to spend a lot of time with the kind foul creatures that crawl out from under beds and rocks to enjoy all kinds of horror films. Every now and then you'll be screening a film that makes even the most hardened monsters reevaluate what it is exactly that they like about the genre. Capture Kill Release has its audience spending time with Jennifer and Farhang, a young, seemingly educated, married couple who sound serious about plotting a murder. Since found footage films never seem to end well for the protagonists, it's unsettling watching this one unfold, especially because their dark banter seems all too real. There is one scene in particular that is spent in the car with our couple as they discuss who they would and wouldn't kill as strangers carry on in a nearby park. This moment is infuriating at first as their arrogance is unbearable and hearing them judge everyone on everything from race to age only makes it worse, but once emotions settle the thought becomes far more disturbing than the masterfully executed scene (you'll know when you see it) that comes later. In the end, Capture Kill Release may not be the first found footage film to put the devil in the driver's seat, but it may be the best." - 4.5 Stars (Not for casual horror fans)

The Great Hornito - "Capture Kill Release was a pleasant surprise. Found footage movies are so much better when you go into them knowing nothing about the plot. The story is unique and original for this genre but it still delivers on being very disturbing and believably creepy. The acting and the chemistry between the main characters was excellent. Found footage movies are still my favorite and this one is brilliant." - 4.5 Stars

KillDozer - "Boring, unimaginative, cruel, and forgettable. The kind of film that gives horror nerds a bad rap." - 1 Star (for solid gore effects)

Speed Demon - "One star for effort and one star for being brutally disturbing. I feel almost as if found footage for me has hit its peak. Nothing has come out in a while and really stuck out to me to remember. This one I can add to the list of found footage films to forget." - 2 Stars

The Berkeley Blazer - "This is a violent found footage love story with pacing issues, but for the most part will keep you interested. These are strong performances that are disturbing, though in watching it after the brutal nightmare found footage feel gross of the year award winner, Be My Cat, I was probably a bit more prepared for this movie then the filmmakers could have anticipated. Despite some questionable writing decisions and story organization I was invested in the story arc of the leads and their chemistry worked. If non-horror viewers can handle the occasional gore and disturbing themes, and can bear with occasional pacing issues, there may be an unorthodox and tragic love story here for them." - 3.5 Stars

Trash - "After watching so many found footage horror films recently, it's a bit off-putting to pivot to a movie that looks as pristine as Capture Kill Release. A good looking young couple has acquired a camera to document the wife Jennifer's fantasy: abducting and murdering someone. It's fun to watch it progress from flirtatious to dangerous, and Jennifer and Farhang have a good chemistry. Actress Jennifer Fraser, whose character shares her name, is incredibly charismatic, and the highlights of the movie are when she is on screen, which as the driving force of the documentary, is disappointingly a bit rare. She's always behind the camera. It drags on a little too long, and the footage of Jennifer as a baby seems authentic in a way where you start to wonder if they found her home movies and wrote a movie around it. The gore steals the show on this one, it's worth every minute for one incredibly brutal sequence." - 3 Stars

Math Mage - "Boring, with just enough sorta interesting bite to make the film feel like a betrayal. My only regret is I didn't bring my 3DS." - 1.5 Stars 

Huntress - "Although there were some pacing hurdles to overcome, Capture Kill Release had several moments that made my jaw drop in disgust, disbelief, or both. And even though we spend a lot of time getting to know and (for the most part) like the main characters, as the movie was nearing its ending, I still don’t think I could predict what they would do. As far as found footage goes, the filmmakers took some liberties with the style, but it was only to make a more cohesive movie. To be honest, I didn't have as much fun watching Capture Kill Release as I was expecting, but thinking back on the characters, their reactions, and their different methods of dealing with an impending murder that they're supposed to commit... I think I need an encore screening." -3 Stars

Dabbles - "The protagonists (or antagonists) were very well acted. I honestly didn't know what to expect and it was good. It did feel a bit long but the practical effects were really good." - 4 Stars

Captured by the Beast - "Overall, Capture Kill Release was a good movie. I loved how real all the action scenes get, especially when they started with the power tools. Felt this movie was missing one more sex scene since the other ones always cut off at a good part 😉. Also if you're a cat person, prepare yourself!" - 3 Stars

All the creatures of the Overlook want to thank Midnight Releasing for the opportunity to review their new venture! 

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

Our screening of Capture Kill Release split the creatures from the Overlook in two, not physically but as an audience. Several creatures were left angry, others bored, and the shadow stalkers that particularly enjoy finding footage from unfortunate filmmakers were tickled.
It was hard for me to articulate exactly why I enjoyed this film so much, especially when there was so much of it I didn't like. For example, I become very bored with a bunch of pretty people on camera. It seems strange but nothing screams 'This is a movie" like some unrelatedly attractive people living in a world with well fed bums with perfect teeth. But after some thought, I realized an attractive millennial couple is what this film really needed. The way they sat in the car and judged strangers on race, age, gender, and mental/physical health was disturbing, cold, and a little too close to home. Haunting the Bay Area has exposed me to more than a few SJW's who may have thought they had a positive look on humanity but still categorized people in the same way.
Another thing that I didn't like was the cat being murdered. Now, Lord Battle sees all life as equally invaluable, so I am not particularly moved when animals are hurt... unless it feels exploitative. My gut reaction was that the cat in the bag was purely for shock but after stepping back from the film it became clear that the cat was part of Jennifer's manipulation and a necessary step in getting her husband Farhang ready to commit murder.

There is a particular genius at play in Capture Kill Release and it really is all about Jennifer's use of sex to appeal to Farhang's ancestral blood lust. After seeing the film, we all know that Farhang really didn't have much to offer in the murder department but the idea at least seems well researched.
Below is an excerpt from an article on female serial killers:

"Although female serial killers, like unhappy families, are each horrifying in their own way, Harrison found some striking similarities among her subjects. Most of them came from fairly mundane backgrounds, their primary weapon was poison, and nearly all of them killed people they knew, often their own family members. By comparison, most victims of male serial killers are unknown to their murderer.

"Female serial killers gather and male serial killers hunt,” Harrison said. “That was very interesting to me, as an evolutionary psychologist, that it reflects kind of ancestral tendencies.”

Harrison also saw evidence of evolutionary influences in what drove women to kill. While most murders by male serial killers tend to involve sex in some way — a 1995 study found that male serial killings are characterized by a desire for domination, control, humiliation and sadistic sexual violence — women are more likely to kill for money or power.

This article doesn't clear up everything but it does add an interesting dynamic to the film. Also they site a study but never say which. Luckily someone linked the study in the comments, you can find that here. In closing, I think it's safe to say that exploitation and found footage go hand in hand, but they're best when they require the viewer to think about what they just watched and really analyze the contract you sign when popping in the VHS tape that was found in the tight grip of death of a poor filmmaker.

-Lord Battle
The Overlook Theatre materialized in a residence for a screening on  3/2/2017
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

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