Monday, 1 October 2012

Captivity (2007)

The beautiful Elisha Cuthbert stars in this disappointing movie, one of many to try and make some money after the success of movies like Saw and Hostel. It's basically a thriller but there are enough moments of nastiness to edge it over into horror territory, albeit light horror territory (hardcore gorehounds should look elsewhere for their fix).

Elisha Cuthbert plays Jennifer, a beautiful young model who is kidnapped and awakens to find herself in a pretty secure holding "pen". Her kidnapper seems delighted to torture her in a variety of psychological ways and things only start to look ever so slightly brighter when Jennifer realises that she is not the only person being held against her will. There's a young man (Daniel Gillies) being kept in a room beside her and the two of them work together to try and make good their escape.

I didn't hate Captivity and I could, if I had to, watch it again but let me be clear about something - that's only because of the presence of Elisha Cuthbert, a gorgeous woman who would I would marry today if it wasn't for the fact that a) I'm already happily married, b) I'm probably not her type and c) the restraining order forbids such a joining together, as well as stopping me from ever walking along her street again.

Captivity is just lame. There are a couple of decent moments throughout but barely enough to keep the average viewer alert and interested. The script by Larry Cohen and Joseph Tura is pretty weak, for the most part, and things only pick up in a third act that throws in a couple of twists and turns that don't really surprise as they should. It's a shame because I like Larry Cohen, as do many other horror and thriller fans, but this is far from his best work.

Director Roland Joffe isn't particularly well-suited to the material and it shows. He fails to create any tension, the few fake-out moments cause groans as opposed to gasps and everything feels safe and slick as opposed to full of potential danger. It's watchable but it's a thriller with no real thrills.

Elisha Cuthbert is lovely in the lead, absolutely convincing as a young, attractive woman who makes money from looking young and attractive. Daniel Gillies is okay in his role though he proves to be quite disappointing as things unfold. Pruitt Taylor Vince is pretty good, as he so often is, and Laz Alonso and Michael Harney do just fine with their small amount of screentime.

There are, of course, a lot of movies out there that are a lot worse than this one. There are certainly a lot worse movies that have been "inspired" by the Saw franchise (*cough* Nine Dead *cough*). That doesn't change the fact, however, that this one is simply average at best.


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