Captivity (R)

Suspense/Thriller 98 July 13, 2007
By Luke Y. Thompson
Captivity’s credits bill it as "a Russian-American co-production," and it damn near warms the cockles of one’s heart to see that the two countries that nearly brought us nuclear war can come together to make a movie about torturing a supermodel (Elisha Cuthbert). Ah, capitalism. The surprise is that it took Lionsgate this long to do a decent rip-off of its Saw cash cow, but at least the studio took the time to do it right. Grungy warehouse rigged with ridiculously elaborate electronics, cameras, and traps? Check. Grotesque torture devices and "challenges" right out of a very special snuff edition of Fear Factor? Definitely. Talented character actor (Pruitt Taylor Vince, in this case) cloaked in a black robe and a hidden agenda? You know it. Sure, there’s no character development to speak of, and one or two plot points make no sense at all, but director Roland Joffé creates a visually interesting and aurally unsettling vibe, and the story, from B-movie maestro Larry Cohen, keeps it simple: Girl needs to escape, but bad shit won’t stop happening. Screw the culture cops who freaked out over Captivity’s graphic poster and always cry "torture porn" -- this is a gleefully nasty piece of red meat for horror hounds, and it delivers as promised.
Roland Joffe Elisha Cuthbert, Daniel Gillies, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Laz Alonso, Michael Harney, Olivia Negron, Chrysta Olson, Elijah Runcorn, Remy Thorne Larry Cohen, Joseph Tura Valery Chumak After Dark Films