The first audience member stood up when battery acid was about to be
poured on a young girl’s face, but, interestingly, walked down the
stairs to the edge of the theater, watched the scene and then returned
to their seat. Apparently, it wasn’t actually too graphic. Said person did
leave, however, along with two others, during a sequence in which the
same character is forced to drink a bloody milkshake made out of
eyeballs, ears and other bits of flesh. Ahh yes, another month, another
slice of offensive cinematic torture porn to raise the hackles of cultural critics and parents everywhere.
This time it’s Captivity, a serviceably rendered but entirely predictable piece of mental rot
directed by Roland Joffé. Opening in just over 1,060 screens, the movie pulled in a dismal $1.4 million in its debut frame last weekend, good enough to come in behind the fifth weekend go-round of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
The film’s plot, to the extent that its set-up is even really accounted for, finds young fashion icon and actress Jennifer Tree (Elisha Cuthbert, making House of Wax look like high art) drugged and kidnapped from a corporate-sponsored party. She awakens to find herself sealed in a subterranean metallic
tomb, where her shrouded captor tortures with barrages of light and
sound, and by means more nasty.
Jennifer eventually makes contact with a fellow captive, Gary (Daniel
Gillies), and the pair seeks solace in one another’s company, trying to
escape their hellish situation.
The first 15 to 20 minutes of the movie feature very little dialogue,
and we don’t see Jennifer interact in person with another human being; Captivity, then, is a filmic exercise in mind’s-eye stalking, with the movie’s
cinematography fetishistically mimicking the early surveillance footage
that provides the killer’s point-of-view. One would think that since Jennifer is a young and sexy celebrity, the
film might have some sort of (nominal) commentary about fame or the
obsession that public images can trigger in diseased minds, but it
really doesn’t. <Spoiler alert> There’s never any doubt as to Gary’s complicity in the
plot (if I’ve shocked you with that revelation, you deserve a punch to
the head), so the film becomes nothing more than a bunch of rather
arbitrary and artificially flavored torture and thrill sequences, the
nasty playing out of a string. For the full review, from FilmStew, click here.