Captivity

From ‘Killing Fields’ director Roland Joffé and veteran genre scriptwriter Larry Cohen . . . a sordid, incoherent copy-cat of ‘Saw’, a movie notorious for its controversial billboard ads, which played on women’s fears of sadistic sexual violence. But that’s not the whole story. Originally shot in Moscow, this co-production was acquired a US distributor, which ordered substantial re-shoots that upped the gore quotient and changed the end. However, the script’s inherent structural weaknesses and thematic inconsistencies remain.

As the four-panel billboards proclaim, the formula is depressingly familiar – Abduction, Confinement, Torture, Termination – but presented without the cruel wit and perverse imagination that saved ‘Saw’ from numbing predictability. Fashion model Jennifer Tree (Elisha Cuthbert) wakes up in a subterranean cell and her all-knowing captor torments her by exploiting her weaknesses and phobias: her vanity, her fear of the dark. Then she discovers that a young man, Gary (Daniel Gillies), is locked in an adjoining room. Perhaps together they can find the strength and ingenuity to escape.

When Jennifer is encouraged to parade herself in a dress and stilettos, this suggests that she is being punished for her modelling. Yet flashbacks to her captor’s childhood suggest his psychopathology has a more banal origin. Most damaging of all is a ‘trick’ reveal, again taken from ‘Saw’, which creates even more confusion. When Jennifer is being force-fed a bloody cocktail of liquidised eyeballs and ears, we are genuinely choked up about it. The film’s clunky point-of-view shift and obviously re-shot climax are likely to have you choking in disbelief.

Release details

Rated: 18
Release date: Friday June 22 2007
Duration: 85 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Roland Joffé
Screenwriter: Larry Cohen, Joseph Tura
Cast: Elisha Cuthbert
Daniel Gillies
Pruitt Taylor Vince
Michael Harney
Laz Alonzo
Rebekah Ryan

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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LiveReviews|7
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bruce

Dreadful film, inconsistent and unconvincing, why would you put a bed and a chair up against a door when being chased, when the door opens the other way, it just does'nt make sense, ha oh dear!

Dave

The worst movie I have ever seen. Not scary at all, had no point or message, and had an easily predictable twist and well it just never really achieved horror.

rach

dis film is so ace its so worthit to go see at cinema abit gory but a gd film