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Captivity - Review

Elisha Cuthbert in Captivity

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

DEATH, depravity and torture seem to be the new horror cool, so it’s hardly a surprise that a film like Captivity has been made to cash in on the trend.

What is surprising, however, is the presence of director Roland Joffé, whose previous credits include The Killing Fields and The Mission, given the pointless and ridiculous nature of the film.

Elisha Cuthbert stars as Jennifer Tree, a successful model who finds herself drugged and abducted after attending a charity event in New York.

Held captive in an undergound cell, she’s then subjected to a series of life-threatening tortures that have been elaborately conceived by a twisted mind and must team up with a co-captive being held in the room next door to stand any chance of survival.

From the outset, Captivity seems to be pitching itself somewhere between the psychological terror of Se7en and the out and out gore of Saw.

But any potential it has to be taken seriously is quickly overtaken by the hopelessly contrived nature of its twists – most of which can be seen coming a mile away.

Hence, what begins as nasty and genuinely shocking, eventually becomes hysterical and laughably over the top.

Cuthbert goes through the motions as yet another woman in peril (following similar turns in 24 and House of Wax) but fails to engage the audience on any emotional level, and her abductor languishes in the shadows without any real insight into his motivations – which just don’t make sense.

There are suggestions that the film is attempting to offer a comment on vanity and consumerism but that’s quickly undermined by the unrelenting gore and the unlikely plot twists.

What’s left is a horror film that seems intent on baiting the censor as far as it can go – one scene, in particular, finds Cuthbert’s hapless heroine being forced to drink the blended body parts of previous victims.

The end result, as you can imagine, leaves an unpleasant taste and makes for torturous viewing.

Certificate: 18
Running time: 84mins