Captivity

"Weak"

Captivity Review


Strapped to a rusty medical chair, Elisha Cuthbert's performance in Roland Joffe's Captivity doesn't work as either performance piece or dramatic bling. Cuthbert gets the Versace knocked out of her while being mentally tortured like Eli Roth's 115th dream, and that's not even the stuff that will bring the cringes out. Amongst the visual ipecac, there's an acid bath featuring a young model, a shake made of eyeballs and intestines, and a blown-apart puppy that is just slightly reminiscent of the mongrel that Paris Hilton stuffs in her purse.

Captivity has no special place in the newfound lineage of post-modern torture flicks: It still hates women (although the heroine factor is anted-up) and the methods of dispatch are still rather lacking in passion (although they're a bit more innovative here). Usually, a film like this would pass under the radar, pick up a few bucks, and eventually spawn a straight-to-DVD sequel starring run-offs from Laguna Beach. This squeamish squirm has a few differences in its DNA, however.

For one, there was that boycotted ad campaign that everyone agreed was just a bit too torturous for their peepers. Then there are the people behind it: Its director, Roland Joffe, is responsible for both The Mission and The Killing Fields and its screenwriter, Larry Cohen, was once the Grand Poobah of B-Horror schlockathons (It's Alive!, the stupendous God Told Me To). With genes like these, one would hope for a horror-thriller with more chops than what's ended up on the screen. Ultimately, however, the film lacks any sense of fun or danger, two things that tend to inform the best of the horror genre, if not straight-up avant-gardism.

Cuthbert, playing a model, gets kidnapped and held in a labyrinthine holding cell while being psychologically put on the rack. Its a few hours into the proceedings when she realizes that there is someone stuck in an adjacent cell: a beaten-up lothario (Daniel Gillies) who immediately puts it upon himself to save and bed the model-in-peril. The twisted genius behind the torment theatrics (Pruitt Taylor Vince) only smirks and chuckles as he swigs chardonnay and watches the fun on his totally-bitchin' camera setup.

Give it to Joffe and Cohen: This well-trotted mess has a tighter coil and more streamlined vision than its relatives. That being said, the end result of Captivity still boils down to visual shocks and very few jolts of truthful suspense. In the final 30 minutes, the film gets back-loaded with absurd twists that take away any sense of control that may have been apparent in the film's first half. Truth be told, the greatest strength the film has is its curtailed running time: Joffe forces himself to cut off a good excess of fat that both the Hostel films had in spades. Yet, there's still this sense of wasted time both in the beginning and end. Cuthbert, an actress who has only shown real talent on Fox's 24, flounders in the material, shot for maximum affability. Sadly, the torment-horror genre still hasn't found its alpha dog.

How could she possibly escape now?



Captivity

Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th July 2007

Box Office USA: $2.6M

Box Office Worldwide: $2.6M

Budget: $17M

Distributed by: After Dark Films

Production compaines: RAMCO, Foresight Unlimited

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 9%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 71

IMDB: 4.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Sergei Konov, Gary Mehlman, Leonid Minkovski

Starring: as Jennifer Tree, as Gary Dexter, as Ben Dexter, as Disantos, Chrysta Olson as Mary, Michael Harney as Bettiger, Carl Paoli as Victim

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Advertisement
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.