Elisha Cuthbert stars as Jennifer Tree, a smokin’ hot supermodel who drinks a drug laced apple martini in Soho one night and awakens captive in a gritty cell. Someone is watching and taunting Jennifer and everytime she disobeys him or her she is gassed or drugged and is forced to participate in ‘Saw’ style torture sequences. Jennifer soon finds hope however in the form of Gary (Daniel Gillies), a young man who is imprisoned in an adjoining cell. Using every available resource, the duo tries to stay alive and make it out of captivity.
The film starts out quite grisly and doesn’t really ever stop its wince inducing techniques throughout to be honest, but the film is ultimately a little more twisted (in terms of story, not traps) than some of the low rent torture porn we’ve seen lately thanks to the success of the Saw and Hostel films.
Elisha Cuthbert kind of goes through a similar (mini) arc to that of Franka Potente’s character in Creep, but starts out less of a hard faced bitch. The early ‘development’ scenes are quite forced and contrived and there is also an extremely out of sorts moment later on that will have audiences shaking their heads, but the film was pleasantly enjoyable…you know…in a sick and twisted kind of way.
Captivity is not excessively gory. Anyone who has watched any of the exclusive clips and re-shoot footage online will know what to expect. Blended body parts (which went on for so long that I did nearly gag), acid showers, sledgehammer head hits, forced oil drinks, doggy death…you name it…they thought of it.
The only thing that really grated with me in the first half of the film was the poor editing choices. It opens with a series of small shots separated by black. After Jennifer is captured and needs to be moved, restrained, dressed or whatever, it fades to black. There may actually be 12 minutes of black in the first 45 of this film.
Captivity is a strange film. It showcases some horrible torture ideas, but it does have a story. It’s one of those films that turns out to be something completely different by the third act, and is one of those films that you’ll either love, hate or feel indifferent towards. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t as terrifyingly brutal, sadistic and masochistic as the furore surrounding the ad campaign would have you believe. That didn’t disappoint me as I didn’t go to see buckets of gore splosh across the screen, but it may disappoint hardcore gore lovers.
Ultimately, Captivity has a good cast, a good score by Marco Beltrami, is slightly Hitchcockian in idea and is no where near as bad as the so-called ‘mainstream’ over sensitive British critics would have you believe. If you read a review in a women’s mag or by an ex-con this weekend ignore them and judge for yourselves.