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Captivity (2007)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
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2.3
 / 10
9 votes
Genres:
Horror, Sadistic Horror, Thriller
Director:
Roland Joffé Roland Joffé
Starring:
Elisha Cuthbert Elisha Cuthbert
Daniel Gillies Daniel Gillies
Pruitt Taylor Vince Pruitt Taylor Vince
Michael Harney Michael Harney
Laz Alonso Laz Alonso
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Review by Chad
Added: November 11, 2007
It's official: the so called "torture porn" subgenre of films has jumped the shark with the release of Captivity. The Saw series will keep on going due to its name value, it's possible (but not likely) that we'll get another entry in the Hostel series, and I'm sure we'll get plenty of direct-to-video bombs that attempt to make a quick buck off the last of the fans, but Captivity marks the end of an era when it comes to big budget releases of this sort. Yes, Captivity is that bad, and although I do enjoy the finer offerings that the genre has to offer, it's films like this that make me embarrassed to defend "torture porn" from its detractors.

Jennifer Tree (Elisha Cuthbert) is the leading lady here, she plays the role of "hot model," and... well, that's really the extent of her character. She gets kidnapped by a masked intruder about ten minutes into the film, and from there, she's alternately locked up in isolation in a dingy dungeon and tortured until the big twist towards the end. These are our major events for the next hour or so, with the sole exception being that she soon discovers that she's not alone in this dungeon, as there's a guy (Daniel Gillies) locked up in the next room who's going through the same isolation / torture tactics that she is. Then... well, that's all there is to the storyline until the aforementioned twist.

What went wrong here? Well, let's ask the easier question: what went right here? Let's see: I enjoyed the "face frappucino" that Cuthbert was forced to drink, as I found that the idea of blending up somebody's face and funneling it down someone else's throat is both original and disgustingly great. I also thought that Elisha Cuthbert was as gorgeous as ever, and... well, those are really the only two positive things that I can say about the film.

By far the worst aspect of the entire film is the script, or should I say, the lack of a script. You see, when I mentioned above that there's nothing but nonstop torture and isolation until that ending twist, I wasn't exaggerating; there's no subtle clues tossed in as to why these people are trapped here, the person running this operation has no apparent motives, and the whole thing just feels like a montage of torture sequences and "watch Cuthbert cry" scenes. This goes on for about an hour, and then we hit the final twist. Now, I make a habit of not spoiling movies in my reviews, but let me just say that this ranks up there with the most mind-numbingly retarded twists in the history of cinema. The writers decided to try something similar to the final twist of Saw, but instead of surprising the audience, this twist found itself bordering between "Well, no shit, I saw that coming" and "Jesus, I can't believe they actually did something that fucking stupid."

Speaking of "seeing that coming", I lost count of how many times I found myself thinking that. Not only does this film feel like a montage of torture sequences, but it also comes across as a "greatest hits" of bad movie clichés. It seems as though the writers simply looked at a handful of the better horror movies from the last decade or so, wrote down all of the things that made them so creepy and horrific, and tried to shove these things into their own script. What they forgot is that the reason these things worked so well in the original films is because they were new or unexpected at the very least, but here, they come across as a "name the ripoff" drinking game.

"Alright," you may be thinking, "this movie may have a stupid script and it may be full of bad movie clichés, but you did say that it's full of torture sequences, right?" Well, that is technically correct, but don't go into this one expecting to see gallons of blood or ingenious torture methods. With the exception of the aforementioned "face in a blender" scene, everything in here is either a direct ripoff of something much better, ruined by a shoddy director, or just downright stupid. Take the "kill your poodle or kill yourself" scene, for example: this could have been neat if not for the fact that the guy running this game decides to show up immediately after she kills the dog and tells her "Yeah, your poodle is still alive, I tricked you, LOL!"

Elisha Cuthbert is hot, but she's certainly not known for her acting abilities. Daniel Gillies seems to have taken acting lessons from Jennifer Love Hewitt's performance in I Know What You Did Last Summer, and as much as I love Hewitt, this is not a compliment. The script was atrocious, the torture sequences are mostly forgettable at best, the final twist is retarded, the second twist (yes, there's two) is even worse, and the entire film just sucked. I could break out my thesaurus and come up with some fancy words to say the same damned thing, but honestly, "sucks", "stupid", and "retarded" are the words that best describe this piece of shit. 0/10.
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Tristan #1: Tristan - added 11/11/2007, 03:26 PM
You watched this? You poor, poor soul.
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 11/11/2007, 05:21 PM
Just another reason why this genre is garbage. And it is directed by ROLAND JOFFE, twice nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards for "The Killing Fields" and "The Mission". WHY? ROLAND -- WHY?
effin #3: effin - added 11/29/2007, 11:59 PM
Think about this. You are an american soldier and you are stationed for your third tour in Iraq. Wich will last for 18 months. You get a special gift from home, you mom remembered you birthday!! Awesome. You open the box and you get this move. You've never seen previews because your in Iraq. So you de-sand your DVD player and pop this in. I couldn't think of a more depressing situation, ever, and i saw Shallow hal in theators.
danimigra #4: danimigra - added 03/15/2008, 06:18 PM
Not even Elisha Cuthbert could do something for this movie..jaja
George Snow #5: George Snow - added 08/19/2008, 02:35 PM
Cuthbert is hot, and this movie did suck.

There's two movies she was actually really good in "He was a Quiet man" with Christian Slater, and Lucky Girl where she plays a high school student with a gambling problem.
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