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This is a review of a 2007 film called 'Captivity' which I watched on TV the other night. Bear with me as I don't usually review films but as I managed to stay awake through the whole of this late night horror (and alone I might add) I thought it was worth me reviewing it as I usually fall asleep half way through which prevents a decent review!
In 'Captivity' a model (Jennifer) wakes up in a sort of dingy basement room, surrounded by all her own belongings and lovely clothes, underwear and toiletries (at this point I was thinking, oh, it's not so bad if you could have a bit of undisturbed pamper time to yourself) but clearly not in her own home. She is confused and disorientated before realising she has been kidnapped and trashes the room in her anger. Smoke is pumped in and she falls out of consciousness and wakes in a room of torture, watching a video of a previous occupant being tortured with acid and she realises she is in great danger and begs forgiveness. In her room, a video plays clips of herself in her interview and TV coverage she has done in the past, perhaps giving clues as to why she is there. An attempted escape through the air vents also results in further punishment and threats of torture.
At this stage, Jennifer is largely unharmed but just deeply unhappy that she is stuck there. After a few days, a flashing light catches her eye and she manages to scrape the paint off the window in the dividing wall to find a very handsome male who manages to communicate to her that he is also being held there against his will. The couple join forces against their mysterious kidnapper and plot to escape their awful plight.
Who's in it?
There aren't an awful lot of characters in this film. Most of the action takes place in the basement although there is a chase scene through the house. Elisha Cuthbert plays Jennifer the pretty model and Daniel Gillies plays Gary Dexter the male captive. There's a couple of dumb coppers and obviously the kidnapper too but that's about it.
Reminds me of...
I don't know why but some of this reminded me of 'Panic Room' as a film. It was mainly dark and most definitely a horror genre with some quite horrific scenes in the film. I think that was what helped to keep me awake! Another part of it was in some challenges the couple had to work out and that reminded me of some of the Saw movies. The IMDB site says you might like this film if you enjoyed 'house of wax' which, incidentally, I did enjoy despite others saying it was a terrible film.
Half way through the film I kind of guessed what was going on and then of course I had to stay up to see if I was right. I was shocked by the film and also digging for Jennifer to get out of the house alive. She had guts and was brave and at the same time made some really stupid moves. At one point she sees a dead cop and kind of twigs that he is not a kidnapper... why didn't she have a quick dig about to see if he had a phone or walkie talkie on him so she could get help.
I have tried hard in this review to not give away any key moments or spoilers as it might just be on your 'to watch' list. It seemed to last a long time although running time is 96 minutes according to IMDB. Watching horror is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me and this film definitely ticked the boxes.
Film Duration: 92 minutes
Director: Roland Joffe Courtney
Country: United States
Elisha Cuthbert as Jennifer Tree
Daniel Gillies as Gary Dexter
Pruitt Taylor Vince as Ben Dexter
Michael Harney as Det. Bettigey
The film begins with one man trapped and a mask on his face. He gets a tube pushed into his mouth and is forced to drink where he quickly dies. The film continues with Jennifer Tree, a famous model who's on every street with her advertisements. She's being watched and when she goes into a nightclub she is drugged and kidnapped. She wakes up in a basement with no opportunity to escape. Her abductor gives her more small assignments she must do, otherwise he will hurt her. At one point, she finds out that she is not the only one caught, behind a wall is yet another person who's trapped and together they try to escape together, but this is obviously not so easy!
Elisha Cuthbert in this film takes the role of Jennifer Tree who's a supermodel in the story. Jennifer is someone who never stops fighting and is full of energy. This role is well played by Elisha and convincing. She makes it very plausible that she is indeed scared and desperately trying to escape. The role of another prisoner named Gary is played by Daniel Gillies. Gary is working with Jennifer to escape from the kidnapper and developes some feelings for her. Daniel plays the role very well.
There are some extras on the DVD, including a few trailers of other movies and the trailer for this film. Also there are some deleted scenes, including two alternative endings to the film, but actually have little added value. Another extra is a behind the scenes interviews with some of the actors and the director. Well nice extras but not really something special.
I really enjoyed this movie. The film makes you throughout the movie actually sit on the edge of your seat. There is plenty of tension and the story remains interesting and differs from other similar films, but I will not say why. The performances are good and make the film very enjoyable to watch. I recommend this movie certainly for people who love a good thriller!
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
Elisha Cuthbert has been lighting up our screens on the hit show 24 for years now, as Jack Bauer's perpetually in-trouble daughter Kim, who has been kidnapped more times than I've had hot dinners. In Captivity, she once again milks it, this time under a more torture-porn-type bent, but the film fails to really capitalise on why anyone ever watches anything with her in, and that's simply that she's drop dead gorgeous.
The film revolves around Jennifer Tree (Cuthbert), a model who is drugged and kidnapped, taken to a strange and convoluted lair where she is restrained. It's clear that the person knows of her fame, because items from her home and clippings from her media life are there, but there's also someone else present: Gary (Daniel Gillies), and so the two try and work together to escape. However, there's a few twists lingering around the corner, and she'll have to do more than she ever expected to keep her life (particularly when it pertains to her love for animals).
The first 50-minutes of this film are essentially a run of the mill horror flick, and, aside from one scene, I didn't find the film on the level of Hostel or Saw at all. The final 25 minutes take an interesting turn; the twist seems stupid at first but is somewhat more interesting beneath the surface. The final scene is a seemingly riduculous, yet entertaining throwback to the cheese of the 1980s that amused me greatly. This isn't one to rewatch for the performances or the script, or anything, but it wasn't entirely worthless even if it is hardly good filmmaking.
Elisha Cuthbert has a habit of being kidnapped (see 24, seasons one and two.) Imagine her delight then at starring in a full length feature film where she gets..(wait for it) kidnapped!
The exciting premise of her playing a model/actress type who gets her drink spiked at a charity gig, then winding up in some weirdo's basement might seem like it has been covered before; there was even a dodgy film on last week called 'The Cellar Door' with a similar plot, awful acting and a budget of about four pounds.
'Captivity' is glossy stuff, though, drafting in Cuthbert was a wise move and a director with 'The Mission' under his belt would surely be an enticement. Well, the first half of the film is really good. I mean really good. Edge of the seat stuff, some terrific torture scenes which put 'Saw and 'Hostel' to shame and a bad guy to make your spine tingle. Then it loses it half way through with a twist and a bad end pay off.
Cuthbert is good, very screamy and gutsy later on in the film, though the part does not give her much to do except for run around shrieking a lot. A longer set-up scene would have worked better as it throws you into the action within about ten minutes.
Music is tense and well well handled and there are some smart ideas knocking around here, but it just runs out of steam too quick. I was dismayed to see it only got an average of two stars here as it is a well made film and Joffe keeps the pace up really well. If you liked 'Saw' and 'Live Feed' then this will please you, don't expect something stunning, but a perfect friday night thriller with plenty of gore and jumps.
I ordered this film, after much grovelling off my husband, as I did not think the write up sounded good. So we went onto sky box office one night, when we was bored and nothing on to watch. It cost us £3.99p to get the film, yes I know that's a lot to just watch a film, but we got it anyway. Lets say I am glad I did.
The film starts off with a woman been tortured, in some type of cellar before being brutally murdered. The film then goes on to start showing the life of a model Jennifer Tree, the film makes it obvious she is being watched, but by whom, we don't know. She then goes to a nightclub, and while on a visit to the ladies room, is drugged and snatched.
She wakes up in a cellar, with no way to get out, her attacker keeps giving her simple things to do, if she does not obey he does something bad to her. Through a see through wall she finds another male prisoner, and they end up trying to escape together. Each plan they try keeps failing, and they keep getting tortured in unimaginable ways.
I will not go into the story too much, because it is hard to tell the storyline without giving too much away. All I will say is there are twists in this film, that were so unexpected, but to find out what you will have to watch the film.
Main cast and acting
Elisha Cuthbert as Jennifer - Elisha plays the supermodel, who is the main star seen in this film. Her character has such fighting spirit, and she never gives up on the fight to survive, and to escape the kidnappers evil clutches. Elisha plays the role in a superb way, and she really makes you believe in the fear that she is feeling. She plays the main role in the way that it should be played; she almost makes you feel the fear that she is feeling.
Daniel Gillies as Gary - Gary is the second person that is held captive by the kidnapper, he is the one who tries to help Jennifer escape, along with him. He gets himself tortured to try and save her. He plays a really good part in this film, although for the first part he does not appear in the film, until about half way through. Still he still makes a big impact on the film, and the outcome of how it all ends.
Pruitt Taylor Vince as Ben - Ben is the kidnapper, although you don't see his face till very near the end of the film. He does not have many lines to speak, and you never hear is voice until the back end. Even so he does play a good part, and convincing of him being a bad guy.
Apart from these three in the film, you hardly see anyone else.
The special effects are really good on this film, there are some very gruesome parts in the film, and some bad things done that you would really have thought happened. They made me cringe just watching them. Everything that happened in the film looked very real, and believable.
I really enjoyed watching this film, and so did my husband. The film kept you on the edge of your seat all the way through. The twist that happens in the film is not at all expected, and I thought it was really good to actually do the twist. There was no visible fault that I could have with this film, everything about it was good. It all looked so real, and was very convincing. It was a flawless performance all round. I would not say it is a film I would watch again, because once you know the twist its not worth watching again, but I would definitely recommend watching it.
Director - Roland Joffé
Release date - 22 June 2007
Running time - 96 minutes
Language - English
This filim is rated 18
Also on Ciao under kineticspade
The premise of the film actually isnt bad. Not original too much but the idea behind it is good. The direction and storyline leave much to be desired.
Jennifer Tree (Elisha Cuthbert) is America's sweetheart and one night, whilst at a charity party, her drink is drugged and she is kidnapped, waking up in a virtual cell. As time goes along, she is subjected to awful torture, only thought up by someone of the most sadistic mind. Or so the cover says.
What actually transpires is a weak plot, with semi decent acting and "tortures" that leave a lot to be desired. Thats not to say that there arent a few eye covering moments, one of which being when Jennifer is made to drink what is seemingly human eyeballs and insides. But this film doesnt have tension. Its has a few gory moments which is the only way in which it can be compared to saw and the like.
Theres a particularly nasty scene where Jennifer is made to choose between what she believes is her own dog or her own life and she of course shoots the dog. A rather unneccesary scene, although it does become one of the best scenes in the film with regards to gut turning.
Then of course theres is the fact that in the middle of all this terror that Jennifer is feeling, she finds a man "hidden" in an adjoining room who just happens to know a way out, have a lighter and be able to speak to her. And then of course, the kidnapper just happens to leave the adjoining door open and one thing leads to another as it always does. Although they go from zero to home run in less than 60 seconds, and I must say the chemistry is non existant!!
As for why exactly the kidnappers do the kidnapping, its a rather confusing plotline to understand. It seems that the film makers did a great job of editing the film, leaving huge chunks of the plot explaining on the cutting room floor!
Altogether, its a cliched film that was barely watchable but none-the-less I carried watching and if Im completely honest, I would rather have saved my money. It is one that I may buy if it came up
Jennifer Tree is a well-known model, whose face can be seen on every street corner. Then her drink is spiked one night at a club, and she wakes up to find that she has been kidnapped by a faceless man who seems intent on torturing her to the brink of death. Then she discovers that she has a neighbour; a young man called Gary who has also been kidnapped and has no idea why he is there. Will the pair ever work out what they have done that was so wrong? Who has taken on the role of torturer? And will either of them ever see the light of day again?
As Jennifer Tree, Elisha Cuthbert does an okay job. Much of the problem with her role lies more with the screenwriters and director than her acting; the problem is that there is virtually no character development and therefore, for me at least, I found it hard to care what happened to her. The little we do find out about her, that she is a model and thinks far too much of herself, didn't encourage me to sympathise with her. I'm sure she has a lot of appeal for the male audience - she has a very fluffy, wide-eyed look about her - but it didn't work for me. I would have thought that after her role in 24 as Jack Bauer's daughter, she could have bagged herself a better role than this. She doesn't do a dreadful job; but she didn't do a particularly memorable one either. One redeeming factor is that, towards the end of the film, when she is looking filthier and much less like an IT girl, she does show glimmers of talent. Too much too late for me though.
Daniel Gillies plays Gary. I didn't think too much of him to begin with either; in fact, until about two thirds of the way through the movie when the pace picks up, I thought he was nothing more than a pretty face for the girls. However, just as I was about to write him off, he suddenly shows that there is a bit more to his character and he does it convincingly - he certainly had me believing that what I was watching on the screen was real. Thinking about it afterwards, I was less convinced - but I think that is more to do with the screenwriters than it was the fault of the actor.
There are some really nasty bits in this film. At one point, Jennifer is forced to drink a 'smoothie' made from eyeballs and other grisly, supposedly human, body parts. Then we are forced (or perhaps I should say I forced myself) to watch the results of an acid shower on the face of a young girl. These and many other gory shots made for incredibly uncomfortable viewing. I watch quite a lot of horrors and thrillers, but this one did really grab my attention, although not in a good way. I watched out of fascination, not because I was impressed. Then there is an episode which involves a dog - something that I truly dislike in films - which I could not help but think was pointless and unnecessary. However, no doubt the director, Roland Joffe, intended viewers to feel this way. There is a rating of 18 attached to this film, which I think is entirely called for.
The pace of the movie is really really slow to begin with. To be honest, watching Jennifer's terror as she realises that she is trapped and doesn't know by whom is about as exciting as watching paint dry. Even the addition of Gary didn't really add much to my enjoyment. I was really about to give up with the film about two thirds in when things suddenly begin to change and more characters are added in. This really made me sit up and for the rest of the film, I was literally on the edge of my seat. The director clearly has the ability to attract the viewer's attention, so I'm not sure why he waited for so long. I have a particularly high threshold for crap films, especially when I'm paying to rent it, but I am sure a lot of people would have given up long before the end.
One angle that, in my opinion, would have improved the film would have been more of a human touch. We find out very little about Jennifer and Gary, and although the reasons for the kidnapper actions are briefly looked at, it could have been done in much more depth. As it was, I was left feeling ambivalent about what I was watching and didn't really care all that much about what happened to Jennifer. As it is, the director seems to have chosen to concentrate on clever camera angles and flashes of colour to attract the audience. Frankly, I've seen much better made films than this and without character development, it just isn't anything out of the ordinary, for all I was shocked by some of the nasty bits.
The ending of the film just about saved it from being truly awful, but I am still hard pressed to recommend it to anyone. If you like gory horrors and don't mind waiting until nearly the end before the story starts to get interesting, then by all means rent it. Otherwise, I think you should stay well clear. Not recommended.
The DVD is available from play.com for £5.99.
Running time: 96 minutes
I actually thought that this film was going to be far better than it was. It started out quite good with a torture scene and a kidnapping that had you quite gripped to see where the film was heading but it was not long before it went down hill. How many of us after being kidnapped and finding that there was another person being held in the next room would then choose to get together with this person (plausable, strength in numbers) and then have sex with them! First thing on my mind!!Not. The film did not really recover after this but had me laughing quite a lot at the absurdety! If you want a thriller with a bit of a twist I would watch saw and forget this one.
Supermodel Jennifer Tree has it all; she is young, beautiful, successful and popular. She is also the recipient of unwanted attention. As Jennifer goes about her business, somebody is silently watching her, stalking her every move until the time is right to take her.
When she wakes she is a prisoner. In a darkened room, from which there is no escape, she finds many of her personal possessions, all stolen from her home in much the same way that she was taken from her normal life. Her initial resistance is soon eliminated by a series of unspeakable tortures and she soon begins to wonder whether she will ever see daylight again. Then, without warning, she realises that she is not alone. In a chamber next to hers, she discovers a terrified young man named Gary; apparently another victim of her abductor. The realisation that she is not alone gives her renewed hope.
But then "hope is the worst of all evils, for it prolongs the torment of man "
The modern demand for "torture porn" seems to be driven by an increasingly irrational fear that we are always being watched. Anyone who's anyone has a stalker these days, the more successful the celebrity, the more psychopathic the stalker. Jennifer Tree must surely, therefore, be one of the most successful celebrities ever, given only that her stalker is a particularly nasty fellow intent on extreme torment.
Director Roland Joffe's visual flair suits the medium very well, with a sinister, moody experience that is initially a pretty nerve-wracking experience. As Jennifer awakens from drug-induced slumber and takes in her new surroundings, her captor quickly exposes her to various grisly ordeals, if only to ensure that she starts to toe the line. Fans of the genre will almost certainly have watched some of the more extreme moments on various Internet web sites but for anyone who comes unprepared, there are some genuinely shocking moments of gore. The violence is made worse by the flickering camera work and grimy ambience achieved through a combination of lighting and colour. Its all oppressive stuff and certainly not for the faint-hearted (18 certificate stuff for sure). The unexpected brutality of the piece leaves the audience just as unsure of what is going to happen next as it does our damsel in distress.
The overtly random nature of the film's opening half by default seems to have a hidden purpose and when the film's major plot twist is revealed it is unlikely to yield a major revelation to anyone other than the casual observer. To a generation reared on Big Brother, Internet interaction and countless psychotic tales, the point of it all is not altogether unpredictable. Perhaps more disappointing, however, is the change in tone brought about by the revelation, which almost instantly eviscerates the film of suspense and doom as the identity of the captor no longer remains a secret. Whilst the captor should remain a very real threat, the revelation of the face behind the mask, complete with hands no longer protected by huge, sinister, black industrial gloves means that you just can't feel the same way about the character. From there, it pretty much reverts to horror by numbers.
The pace of the film is curious. For the first half or so, the action is clipped into short, punchy little scenes, normally drawn to a close by another gruesome revelation or ordeal. The effect is unsettling; tension builds very quickly, for example, as Jennifer wakens to find herself strapped into a chair, with who knows what about to happen to her. Again, however, as soon as the twist rears its head, the pace and style becomes much more conventional, and, largely, less appealing.
Elisha Cuthbert's Jennifer Tree fails to inspire any real interest or commitment from the audience. Cuthbert's pretty enough, but she's not supermodel material and her nauseatingly helpless femininity is becoming part and parcel of every screen role to which she is attached. Throughout the film, she proves herself to be dim and unresourceful and whilst the script goes someway to explain the psychology behind her captivity, it doesn't entirely convince. Essentially, Cuthbert is Jack Bauer's daughter all over again, the only thing absent from the proceedings is her heroic father charging in to save the day.
Jennifer's counterpart, Gary, is introduced slightly later in the film, intentionally without any real detail or back story. Gary is another victim of the captor but you don't find anything out about how he came to be there or why he is being held against his will. The captor's obsession with Jennifer, for example, is fairly standard stuff. She's a pretty supermodel. Gary, however, would appear to have been brought in as a captive, purely to provide the captor with some entertaining interaction to watch, as Jennifer gradually becomes closer and closer to him. The shallow character, of course, provides Daniel Gillies with very little to go on and it isn't until later on in the film that he actually gets an opportunity to really "be" anything. By then, of course, it's too late; the audience has already filed him under 'just another pretty face'.
In terms of writing things off, the likelihood is, of course, that by the time Gillies has been written off, the audience has sent the rest of the film with him. Joffe is fundamentally unable to maintain the film's initial gloom and quirkiness and whilst he admittedly gets past the first hurdle, he certainly doesn't make it to the finishing line. As a film of two halves, Captivity is sadly disappointing, bringing very little that feels fresh to the genre. The ongoing torture ordeal, for example, feels reminiscent of the Saw movies, whereas the film's later scenes could essentially have been pulled from pretty much any modern horror movie you can think of. All this is undermined further by an uninteresting lead that, once again, simply goes through the motions of being blonde, pretty and stupid.
As a premise, I quite liked the idea behind Captivity, even if I did see it coming a mile off. Probe any further than surface level, however, and the thing quickly unravels. The film's opening scenes, for example, show the captor inflicting yet another gruesome torture on a young man, which makes no sense when you find out what motivates later on in the piece. Essentially, Joffe can bat away any criticism on the basis that both he and his characters continually question "what's real?" The approach could arguably be used to confuse both the audience and the cast but in essence, the reality is that Captivity simply isn't up to scratch.
What would you do if you were a famous celebrity and you had been captured and kept in the basement of a property? There are no windows, lack of food and water and alot of mind games...so come on...what would you do?
Elisha Cuthbert -as- Jennifer Tree
Daniel Gillies -as- Gary
Pruitt Taylor Vince -as- Ben
Laz Alonso -as- Disantos
Michael Harney -as- Bettiger
US: July 13, 2007
UK: June 22, 2007
This film starts out with a good torture scene, admittedly it's abit short and you don't get to see much but still, it's alright to watch. The person who is torturing the victim is all in black, the typical outfit really, big black hood, long black coat and dark shadows so you can't see their face.
Afterwards, we get to see the same torturer compiling what looks like a scrap book about a certain Jennifer Tree (Cuthbert). He is also watching a collection of her interviews where she confesses her hopes, fears and dreams and explains what her life as a model is like. The scene quickly changes and we see Jennifer lying in a bed in a dark, dirty room with no natural light. She wakes up and looks slightly confused about where she is and how she got there. Afew minds games are activated and she starts screaming and demands to get let out. After her fit of screams, a big metal drawer pops out of a wall and delivers a video tape for her to watch on the TV provided...how kind...but what she watches is HOW she actually got to where she is. She witnesses somebody in her apartment and somebody following her out of a club, then the screen goes fuzzy. She goes crazy and throws afew things around and shouts "the police are gonna be all over this!"
After more mental torture, Jennifer discovers what she thinks is her way out, but it's only a trap for the torturer to drug her and send her back to the room she first started in. Jennifer thinks she's saved when she notices a gap in the wall, but what she discovers is that the wall is actually a painted window, and on the other side of the glass is another room with another victim in there. Jennifer and her new found friend Gary become alot closer and decide it's time to get out. In the meantime, the police are trying to find out where Jennifer is and eventually get some information on where they think the whole thing is going on and most importantly, who is doing it.
From this point forward, there are alot of predictable scenes and only one more torture scene. Will Jennifer get alive? Will Gary help her? Why is she being tortured and who is doing it?
Approaching this film, I was definitley looking forward to it. I had seen trailers for this film on TV and on the internet and even the trailers were censored, so I thought I was due for a torture fest with grisley murders, awful kidnap scenes and just an all round good horror movie...but oh my was I dissapointed?
I'll just start by saying that before I tell you why I disliked this movie so much, I did find that the acting was very good, especially from the lead role, Elisha Cutherbert, which is to be expected as she, in my opinion, is a very good actress with an excellent future ahead of her.
Now, where was I? Ah yes, I was telling you about how dreadful this movie was. I managed to clear my night, get myself a nice glass of Baileys with some snacks and get prepared for a good horror movie. Like I said before, the opening scene is a torture scene and even though it's short and not very detailed, it still draws you in and makes you think you are due to see more gore and more torture. Well, don't hold your breath, because if my memory is correct, there is only one more torture scene after this, and to be honest, it's not really much of a torture, more of a worst nightmare situation, especially for claustrophobia sufferers.
If it wasn't bad enough that the film lacks horror and gore, the police investigation is enough to make you turn the film off before it finishes. You meet two police officers who have been assigned the task of finding Jennifer Tree and catching the person who has been torturing her. The police investigation plays a small part in the film, so small infact that we never get to find out where there information is coming from. For example, the police officers manage to get hold of some 'information' of who could be a possible suspect. But from where? How did they get hold of this information? Next thing we know, they are showing up at the place where Jennifer is! Not a co-incidence, just a bad part of the plot.
As if that wasn't bad enough, there is an unrealistic scene involving Jennifer and Gary. I won't say what it is, but i'll just say that when you are in a situation that they are in...the last thing you do, is what they did.
So i'm more than half-way through film and i'm already feeling like I wasted my time, but I may aswell sit it out since I sat through the first hour and fifteen minutes. As the film is ending, it becomes increasingly obvious about how this is going to end. The ending itself is nothing special and nothing imaginative, just a bog standard horror movie ending, worse still, you don't really get to find out WHY the torturer is doing what he is doing....you get meet him, but there is no real reason as to why he gets a buzz out of capturing pretty women.
So, I turned the movie off, turned to my boyfriend and said "what a dissapointment", he completely agreed and we really wished we had watched another film instead, but atleast we can now NOT recommend this film to other people.
All in all, this film was a huge dissapointment and it was deifnitley over-hyped by the media, who obviously had not watched this film from beginning to end. I would strongly advise you not to watch this film and actually expect to get something back from it. There are too many similarities to Saw and Hostel and so there is nothing new about this film. Saw is an excellent horror movie and Hostel delivers brilliant gore scenes, but Captivity is a huge flop and I certainly won't be buying it when it comes out.
The day Captivity opened, it received alot of negative reviews including one from movie critic James Berardinelli, who is quoted saying that this film was "not tense or scary; it's just demented".
They will be releasing an Uncut version to this film when it is released on DVD next month...lets hope you get to see more of what you would've hoped after seeing the trailer.
I'll be honest with you. I wasn't planning on seeing this at the cinemas. After all with so many torture movies coming out (the Saw films and Hostel leading the pack) Captivity looked like another slab of snuff to be put on the slate. But then there was more and more talk about it after its controversial poster was pulled off and critics talked about how sickening it was.
Today was a beautiful day. I woke up refreshed, read a good book, and saw a really good episode of The Sopranos (I just bought the season 3 boxset). Things were looking good for me.
I found a voucher which had expired yesterday but luckily the cinema staff were very friendly and let me use it anyway. They most certainly were the best part of the cinema outing because the movie itself was disappointing.
The film begins atmospheric enough with torture, quick cuts, good choice of music (it was used in 'Traffic') and hinting as to the killer's motives. Elisha Cuthbert was also in it and I personally think she is a talented actress who can carry a film no matter how terrible (House Of Wax) it is. But after seeing this I am hoping for her to try something different that will ask more of her than just screaming and running in horror movies. If that's feminism at its peak then this world really has low standards for women.
She plays a model, Jennifer, who at a club gets drugged and wakes up in a basement where she is tortured. Thinking Saw? So was I.
The film until this point has a problem with its cinematography. I've mentioned its good editing and music but until now the shots themselves have been so unintentionally unfocused and placed in bad positions that I was beginning to think I might need glasses. Thankfully, though, you get used to it and can pay attention to the story... which unfortunately is a bad thing with the same thing happening throughout the movie: torture, HELP ME, torture, HELP ME, torture, HELP ME, torture, HELP ME... Admittedly some of the scenes are squirmish and I found myself caring for our protagonist but at other points you're just getting bored.
The problem with the person being tortured is that she is written as an extremely shallow, vein person who considers beauty to be anything. In fact I couldn't help but think that she would probably have been a close friend of Paris Hilton if she were real. It was only Cuthbert's performance that made her worth rooting for (but the scenes showing her past interviews on TV unravelled that and it was up to her to bring back some emotion for the audience).
There is also a sex scene that though important to the story seems very misplaced and quite stupid. Who in their right mind would have sex right after being tortured horrifically and only meeting the other person only a couple of days ago.
This leads us to the next part where we are suddenly introduced to another captive played by Daniel Gilles and from here on the film loses its focus as it spouts cliche after cliche (I knew the twist almost immediately and it is so bad it makes the Saw films hide their faces in embarrassment). The final act is exciting and thankfully not as stupid as most third acts in suspense thrillers (I'm thinking of Red Eye), but by the time the credits rolled in this extremely short film (the staff were asking me why I was leaving so early and were surprised when I told them it was already over) I was thinking of what film I'll be watching next week.
If you like violence or Elisha Cuthbert, watch it. Otherwise skip it and wait for it to come on TV. You won't be missing much.
Top cover girl and fashion model, Jennifer Tree has it all - beauty, fame, money and power. Her face appears on covers of hundreds of magazines. At the top of her game, Jennifer is America's sweetheart. She is loved and adored and sought after. Everyone wants her. But someone out there has been watching and waiting. Someone wants her in the worst way. Out alone at a charity event in Soho, Jennifer is drugged and taken. Held captive in a cell, Jennifer is subjected to a series of terrifying, life-threatening tortures that could only be conceived by a twisted, sadistic mind. Inspired by the fact that over 850,000 people are reported missing every year in the United States, many of whom are never seen again, CAPTIVITY, follows the story of one woman who is abducted and tortured, held against her will in a place where days turn into weeks. Her will to escape and survive is challenged every moment by a maniac's desire to demoralize innocent victims and play out his sick game that has been played many times before Jennifer was taken. A combination of SAW and HOSTEL meets SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, CAPTIVITY is a psychological thriller/horror film that shows us the true terror of the crimes of abduction and confinement that are committed every day by serial killers and psychopaths at large. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Roland Joffe (THE KILLING FIELDS, THE MISSION), CAPTIVITY delves deeply into the minds of both captor and victim with a fresh and terrifying view of this epidemic horror. Being released this summer in theatres nation-wide, CAPTIVITY has been called one of the most controversial films of the year. It's a disturbing and raw, yet classy and thought provoking film which will leave you terrified, and looking over your shoulder as you leave the theatre wondering if you could be next.