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I got this movie in a $5 bin with some other horror flicks, and at first look it appears to be more like a drama of a girl being held against her will. But i took a chance hoping there was more to it than that.
It was well worth it. It will keep you wondering what's going to happen next.
We've seen this kind of ending before.
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I like Elisha Cuthbert and that's the only reason I wanted to watch this movie. From the previews, I thought it would be another one of those gross you out by slow torture Hostel movies, but it is a little better. It starts off with her being captured so early on in the movie that I thought, "oh no, this is going to be boring, watching her being tortured different ways for the whole movie", but the plot isn't that bad. The torture moves are disgusting, but it gets pretty exciting at the end of the movie when the plot picks up. I didn't like very end though, kind of a dumb way to end the movie, but I can't ruin it. I would recommend this movie, but don't expect a lot from it.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Not to be taken seriously?Nov. 10 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
I have a rather mixed opinion about Captivity. Viewed seriously, it is an awful movie. Elisha Cuthbert plays a model who is drugged, kidnapped, held prisoner and tortured by an unknown assailant. During the first portion of the movie, she is essentially the only character, and she is not a very interesting one. For a long time, we know little about her - and nothing of the motivations of her captor - so it is hard to care about her on anything but the most basic level. Eventually, another prisoner appears, and then the plot twists begin; the only problem is that every twist can be seen coming long before it happens. And considering how "brilliant" the villain is, he leaves a relatively obvious trail for the police to at least suspect him.
On the other hand, while watching Captivity, I began to wonder if it is really just a parody of the so-called "torture porn" genre which has the Saw and Hostel movies as its most prominent members. After all, this movie takes torture porn to its extreme: all torture, no character, with a plot that is minimal (and rather dumb), a conclusion that is just plain silly and a bunch of cliches (like the supposedly dead person who pops back to life).
As a straight horror flick, this rates one star. As a parody, it rates three. I split the difference. This is for die-hard fans of the genre only.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
What's real?Nov. 25 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
A beautiful model seems to have everything...money, fame, a dog. That changes when she's abducted in the middle of a lively club. She wakes up to find she's in a prison of sorts and subjected to horredous acts. Thus is the plot behind Captivity.
Lets be blunt shall we? I bought this because I think Elisha Cuthbert is an amazing talent. Yet somehow, even she couldn't save this film from being sadly predictable with characters as wooden as your dining room table. Jennifer (Elisha's character) has absolutely no backstory, you see her in a photo shoot so you kind of put two and two together to come up with the fact that she's a model. You realize she has a dog that she treats like a human. And, honestly, seems like a genuinely lonely person to me. But it doesn't take more than 15 minutes before she gets taken and the torture begins. With the film moving so swiftly I had no reason to care whether she lived or died.
The acting, on everyone's part, was terrible...like Jessica Simpson herself offered up acting tips to everyone involved. I think that's what disappointed me the most. Watch the special features. None of the actors seem particularly enthused about the film. Heck, listen to Elisha, she, and I quote, says "I did this movie to work with Roland (the director)." There's no emotion in their voices that tells us the enjoyed making the movie or the outcome whatsoever. You know you're in for a stinker when your actors aren't even happy with the movie.
Effects, however, are decent. The acid bath was pretty cool, and seeing someone take a sledgehammer to a person's face will usually get a reaction from me. Past that, the only original torture-esque thing they did was the room that fills up with sand. That, actually, is the only time I felt the terror that should've been coming through the entire film.
Overall, even if you're an Elisha Cuthbert fan, such as myself, it might just be best to skip this over. There's nothing here you haven't seen before, and done much better. There's no surprises, even the ending isn't very surprising. Don't expect much if you do decide to pick it up though.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Captivity is nothing more than a cheap version of the Saw FranchiseDec 5 2007
Greg C. Unleashed
- Published on Amazon.com
Have we not had our fill of sadistic torture, visceral moments, useless horror movies from companies such as Lionsgate films? They release foreign and independent films such as Hotel Rwanda and Fahrenheit 9/11. However, people will mainly recognize their name associated with action/adventure and horror films like Saw and even Hostel.
Captivity is nothing more than a cheap version of the Saw Franchise, so why would they want to distribute this kind of junk? Furthermore, one then has to wonder why veteran--the Oscar winner--director, Roland Joffe who made good films like The Killing Fields (1984) and The Mission (1986) made a film like Captivity. Yes, he has gone on to directing less successful movies such as Super Mario Bros. (uncredited, 1993) and The Scarlet Letter (1995) but nothing like this. Is there an explanation for such a decline in his career? Because this movie is telling us that he has reach an all time low. We are puzzled about his choice, but we do understand that everyone needs a paycheck.
New York City is a great place to be a fashion model and cover girl. All the best fashion photographers love to shoot Jennifer Tree (Elisha Cuthbert) and she loves the attention. Eventually this will be her demise because there is a faceless but ruthless stalker--who is obsessed with her beauty--that is pursuing her. She loves to party and she decides to go the local nightclub and while waiting for her drink, it is drugged by our villain.
The next morning Jennifer wakes up confused but notices that she might be in a hotel; because of the view by the window is that of a beach. She starts walking over only to discover that the window is not authentic--it is a film screen, inside of a prison cell--that resembles a scene from Total Recall.
Jennifer realizes that she is trapped. She must break out of her confinement but it will not be easy because there are cameras all round the room. Over the next several hours, she will have to undergo several psychological and sensory torture traps. During her ordeal, she discovers that she is not alone--there is a young man named Gary (Daniel Gillies [Spider man 2]) held prisoner in the next room. Within a short while, they devise an escape but the Killer foils it and they are put into their cells. Within a short time--because of the celebrity status of Jennifer--the NYPD are drawn into the disappearance of this famous person. What will be the out come of our couple? Will they escape the clutches of our pitiless executioner?
As I have said in some of my earlier reviews like Turistas and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, we have had our fill of this genre when it comes to mindless torture and sadistic behavior of these serial killers that these movies glamorize. They become painfully predictable.
The most interesting thing that we can say about Captivity is the way he uses the urban villain and hero, in this genre. He gives us an essence of a "cat and mouse" game through the teasing of our victim Jennifer. The best example of this is where he uses a sleeping gas to subdue her, but unfortunately, after the first forty minutes--because of the repetitiveness of this sequence--he starts loosing this style of suspense. Now, the movie and this spin on sadistic methods becomes just like a similar copy of the behaviors that we received from Jigsaw in the Saw movies with the "Batman" like traps but far less creativity. At least the villain from Saw had some ingenuity plus personality.
Secondly, once the villain reveals himself and his true intentions--his real feelings for the girl--the movie becomes predictable and then proceeds to take the course of a very yuppie, version of an urban soap opera.
Please proceed with caution when going to see this hollow, predictable, shallow, cheap copy of other films. The movie does have its moments with the cat and mouse approach by the director through the psychological tormenting of Jennifer, but looses this element of innovation through the torture sequences, which remind us of Saw and the TV show Fear Factor. The result: we are left with very little scaring moments or intensity because of the bad acting and storytelling.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Movies Like This Can Be TortureJuly 13 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
I'm shocked and appalled that I actually found something redeeming about "Captivity," if only at first. This is an ugly film, parts of which are as sick, depraved, and disgusting as an R rated movie is allowed to be. Of course, I knew all along that it was supposed to be that way, which is probably why that aspect didn't bother me. The first half of the film is actually quite strong, simply because no effort was put into character development, dialogue, or even plot; it was all about shocking the audience with gruesome scenes of torture and gore. It certainly worked in that regard. But then it completely lost its way, first when the characters were fleshed out, second when a back-story was alluded to. Both were beyond ridiculous, downright unnecessary. Had the filmmakers stuck to their original idea, had they not given the film an actual story and just focused on shock value, it probably would have been much more effective.
The plot concerns the plight of a young model/actress named Jennifer (Elisha Cuthbert). After drinking a drug-laced martini at a club and blacking out, she awakens to the realization that she's been kidnapped. She finds herself locked in a concrete cellar, a barren, dark room that's rigged with cameras, microphones, and various devices for psychological torture. Jennifer is periodically drugged, and she awakens to find herself in a different room, restrained on a slab. That's usually when we get vague impressions of the torturer, a menacing figure hidden by shadows and dark clothing. Who this person is and what this person wants is initially not revealed, which I thought worked quite well. All we really need to know is that he or she wants to be in complete control. This is probably why Jennifer is forced to witness video footage of previous victims. It's also why she's forced to do terrible things, such as drinking a blended mixture that's best not described.
After a while, a second captive is introduced, and the film goes downhill from there. His name is Gary (Daniel Gillies), and he claims to have been there for three days. He and Jennifer initially communicate through a dirt-covered window, although they occasionally find themselves back in the torture chamber, strapped to slabs. They eventually discover that the wall separating their chambers have doors, and that the torturer can open and close them. After they find themselves together, a series of plot twists begin. Not only do they ruin the atmosphere, they also make absolutely no sense. I'm afraid I can't describe them in detail; too much would be given away. In all honesty, the rest of the film can't be described without being incredibly vague. What I can say is that a new subplot is introduced, one that involves a boy who murdered his mother.
The last twenty minutes of the film unfold so unoriginally that I left feeling somewhat cheated. The shocking nature of the opening half is disregarded for routine escape scenes, material that had worn itself out a long time ago. It isn't a matter of being implausible; the entire premise is implausible, from the kidnapping to the methods of torture. It is, however, a matter of consistency, of sticking to the idea that initially made the film work. I'm usually one for character development, but in this case, it was not needed. If the intention is to consistently make the audience feel uncomfortable with scenes of torture, then please, don't bother trying to develop the characters. I didn't want to invest in Jennifer, and I certainly didn't want to understand who Gary was. But at a certain point, I was forced to do both, and that completely ruined the experience.
I think what's most disappointing is that this isn't the film I was expecting. As you may have heard, its ad campaign caused quite a stir. A four-paneled billboard--featuring the tagline "Abduction. Confinement. Torture. Extermination"--depicted Cuthbert in a series of disturbing situations that many deemed unsuitable for public display. It was removed from the campaign, which of course got me thinking that the film itself would be shocking beyond reason. While it did begin as such, it ultimately became a bland, uninteresting thriller. Frankly, this is not the controversial film that was promised. And let's not forget that its release was delayed, its opening date of May 16 changed to June 22 before July 13 was chosen. A delayed film is almost always a bad sign; the filmmakers use that extra time to reedit the film, usually into something that lacks the original vision.
I obviously don't know if this was the case with "Captivity." All I know is that the final cut did not live up to my expectations. I have a sneaking suspicion that it won't live up to anyone else's expectations, either. I'm referring directly to the devotees of Torture Horror Movies, a relatively new genre that defined such films as "Hostel," "Saw," and "Wolf Creek." They will find that "Captivity" ends up going in the wrong direction, which is disappointing, considering how promising the first half was. When I stop and think about it, the fact that I got something out of it at all is pretty unsettling; films this unpleasant, this unabashedly mean spirited would entertain only the most select audiences. I can't say that I'm proud to be a part of it.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not bad at all!March 12 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
Sexy model Jennifer Tree (Elisha Cuthbert) happens to be the most popular cover girl in America! that is until one unfortunate night, she gets kidnapped by a mysterious cretin after being drugged at a party. At this maniac's house, the mysterious person psychologically tortures her and another victim named Gary (Daniel Gilles) is playing the game as well as both must try to find a way out.
Enjoyable psychological horror thriller from Russian director Roland Joffe and legendary writer Larry Cohen ("It's Alive", "The Stuff", "Q The Winged Serpent"). The film drew controversy before it was released last summer with unapproved graphic ads that later got changed, but the film isn't bad at all but does have a few gory moments like the stomach churning force feeding of puree made from human parts, it's basically a survival thriller movie with some nice tension and decent character build up, it's enjoyable but no where as graphic as you heard.
This DVD contains the unrated cut with footage not shown in the R-rated theatrical version and the only extras are trailers to other Lion's Gate releases, two featurettes and deleted scenes.
Also recommended: "Bloodsucking Freaks", "Funny Games", "Misery", "Ichi The Killer", "Driller Killer", "The New York Ripper", "Hostel 1 & 2", "Audition", "Deep Red", "Maniac (1980)", "Saw Quadrilogy", "Wolf Creek", "Hard Candy", "Pieces", "Scream", "Perfect Blue", "The Hills Have Eyes (1977 and 2006)", "Men Behind The Sun", "Intruder", "Battle Royale", "Silence of the Lambs", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre series including 2003 remake and The Beginning", "Re-Animator", "Last House on The Left", "House on The Edge of the Park", "The Devil's Rejects", "Mother's Day", "The Untold Story", "The Jacket", "Vancancy", "8MM", "Se7en", "Manhunter", "Hannibal", "The Toxic Avenger", "Tenebre", "Inferno", "Phenomena (a.k.a. Creepers)", "Halloween (2007)", "High Tension", "Stage Fright (1987)", "Opera" and "Hellraiser 1 & 2".