Having just reviewed the "Saw Trilogy" DVD set, my next disc to review was "Captivity," which has been dubbed as a "Saw" and "Hostel" clone. Having now seen "Captivity," the film goes far beyond being a mere clone. "Captivity" is without question a repulsively pointless rip-off without all the elements that make the "Saw" series work.
To even mention a plot synopsis seems absurd as "Captivity" is virtually free of any story whatsoever. In a nutshell, the "story" follows one of America's top models (Jennifer) who has been abducted and taken to a grungy house where she is tortured. While at the house, she meets a fellow abductee named Gary who is not what he seems. Blood, chases, brain cell killing scenes ensue.
I don't know what's worse, the fact that Roland Jaffe (director of acclaimed 80's films "The Killing Fields" and "The Mission") directed this trash heap, or that horror legend Larry Cohen (director of cult hits like "It's Alive" and "Q") co-wrote the script. Are they that hard up for cash to make a film that is nothing more than misogynistic torture porn? If you don't believe it's nothing more than torture porn than try watching scenes containing an acid shower, a murdered dog, or the bloody ear and eyeball shake being force fed to Jennifer's character. The funny thing is these scenes were all pick up shots that the studio wanted! Even if these scenes weren't in the film, it wouldn't have helped the film any. The script is riddled with non-sensical moments. For instance, the killers seem to have unlimited resources and supplies as if they live at Wal-Mart, the killers kidnap people in public without magically being seen, etc. And don't even get me started on the ending! The less said about it the better.
I have to wonder why on Earth Lionsgate even released this film. The studio already has the "Saw" franchise, why would they need a brain-dead copycat complete with nearly identical sets? I could see another studio releasing this flick, but it makes little sense for the production company to capitalize on "Saw's" success when they're already capitalizing off "Saw's" success.
As for the star of the film (Elisa Cuthbert), I feel sorry for her. She's clearly a young talented actress, but she keeps getting stuck in bad roles like this and the "House Of Wax" re-make. Someone please cast her in something worthwhile.
Note: This review is of the Unrated version.
The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen picture is well above average. Since the scenes are well lit, the film never looks overly dark like many horror films. The only problem I noticed was that a few scenes (mostly romantic or danger-filled moments with Gary and Jennifer) did not have finished coloring. I believe this is due to the fact that these scenes were new additions to the unrated version, but I'm not positive about that.
Much like the "Saw" films, the "Captivity" DVD has 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Ex and 6.1 DTS ES audio tracks. Both tracks are solid audio mixes with a nice attention to background sounds.
* Previews for "After Dark Horrofest- 8 Films To Die For," "The Descent," "H.P. Lovercraft's The Tomb," "Mummy Maniac," and "Saw 3."
* "Captivity" theatrical trailer.
* 6 deleted scenes (roughly running 16 1/2 minutes). The two main deleted scenes are two alternate endings which are both as atrocious as the ending that appears in the film. One of the alternate endings involves jennifer helping a woman with groceries and hopping on a bus. I kid you not.
* A 14 1/2 minute featurette titled "On The Set Of Captivity." This featurette takes a behind the scenes look at the pick up shots filmed in the U.S. As I mentioned earlier, all of the pick up shots are torture scenes.
* An 11 1/2 minute "Making Of Captivity," which features interviews with the cast and director, discussions about shooting in Russia and various directorial decisions.
* English and Spanish subtitles.
As "Captivity" is one of the worst films of 2007, it's safe to say that you should avoid it at all costs.
Film and television enthusiast Nick Lyons recently had his first book published titled "Attack of the Sci-Fi Trivia." It is available on Amazon.com.