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Captivity (2007)

  Tags: captivity, Daniel Gillies, Elisha Cuthbert, Laz Alonso, Michael Harney, Pruitt Taylor Vince, torture, torture porn

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (6 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
4

captivity.jpg
Rating #: 
4/10
Director: 
Roland Joffé
Runtime: 
85 minutes
Cast: 
Elisha Cuthbert, Daniel Gillies, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Laz Alonso, Michael Harney


Released in other countries this past Spring, the film underwent additional shooting after negative screenings proved that some scenes needed to be reworked, so a reported four new torture sequences were added to amp up the gore, while other scenes were shortened and extended. The first version of the movie was essentially just a psychological thriller with zero gore or torture sequences, and just followed Elisha's character as she tried to endure the mind-games that the killer was subjecting her to.

These new gore scenes are obviously just there for no reason other than to shock the audience and please the fans of the torture sub-genre and offer nothing to the overall story. However, some of the additional non-gore sequences sped up the pace and added a little story and edge that was missing from the first version. The movie went under some pressure when a billboard was posted near a middle school that depicted a series of images with the words "Abduction, Confinement, Torture, Termination" above it. The MPAA also gave the film a hard time in receiving its R-rating, which led to the delay in the release by a couple months.

The movie attempts to combine two essential films that started the torture fad -- Saw and Hostel -- but the poor script proved too dumb for a Saw clone and surprisingly enough, has even less of a story than Hostel. In this flick we follow Elisha Cuthbert's character (a fashion model and new "it" girl), who has been abducted and is now being held in a small room, where she's subjected to various mind-games and torture by an unknown assailant. While there, she meets another victim who's being held in the next room. The two communicate through a vent, where they learn more about each other, and through the ordeal, grow to have feelings for one another.

The sub-genre has sunk to a new low with this film, which is essentially nothing more than a few pointless torture sequences and a paper-thin story. At least with Hostel the victims are tortured thanks to a shady organization and a group of rich people who pay to get their hands dirty. Even in Saw Jigsaw had a well thought out plan and picked his victims for a reason, but in this film? Let's just say the killer was just a little too lonely.

Since the movie pretty much just centers on Elisha's character, we're given a break now and then by following a couple detectives as they try to track down the murderer. Though, their screen time has been shortened in this new version of the film, but replaced by the new gore-scenes, where the torturer would pretty much just get Elisha to witness or do something disgusting. Aside from that, she spends a good portion of the film passed out, as the killer would constantly drug her, so he can move her around and set up the next mind-game. As for the "twist" towards the end -- I predicted it within the first 20-minutes, and I'm sure anyone else that has watched horror films the past handful of years can as well. On the plus side, it kept me interested and I thought the high-end technology that was apparent throughout the confined area was a nice addition. It's clear that the guy who orchestrated the plan covered all the possible angles of escape.

It's obvious that for a film like this, director Roland Joffé (The Mission, City of Joy, The Scarlet Letter) was the wrong man to go behind the camera, because he's used to delivering dramas with an actual storyline. Hence, why the first version was more story than pointless torture and guts. Thanks to the premise and promotion of the movie, it got the Hostel audience, which also explains why they went back and added the torture scenes. Even though they had eye-candy Elisha and newly-added gore and sequences that helped speed up the relatively slow pacing, it still couldn't save it from being a bad and overall pointless movie.

Predictable and pointless; if you're looking for a another Saw or Hostel then look elsewhere, because this is neither. The premise is almost non-existent and the torture scenes are poorly edited into the film and are clearly only there to shock the viewers and keep the pace going. If you're still intent on seeing the movie, I'd recommend waiting for the DVD release, otherwise, skip this mess.

Posted on October 19, 2009 - 8:32pm | FrighT MasteR

 

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