NOTE: This is a review of the original cut as shown at the 2006 Sitges Film Festival. The film has since gone through re-shoots (by its distributor) with further gore and a new ending being tagged to its ass. Will it make a difference as to the quality of this turd? You be the judge! Cause I am NOT seeing this crap again.
Sporting names like Roland Joffe (who helmed the excellent The Mission), screenwriter
Larry Cohen (Its Alive) and babe-liscious Elisha Cuthbert (great ass on that Panda), you would think that CAPTIVITY would be a rock solid genre ditty…well I did anyways. Tonight, I found out that it’s a sinking turd…the hard way.
Fire in the hole!
Captivity opened on the right macabre note with dread-slick opening credits and a suggested yet highly inventive kill and then it was down the laundry shoot for these blood stained undies. The flick became a blatant SAW rip-off right down to victims trapped in a rigged up room, a cops on the case subplot (a lousy, cliched ridden one at that), the killer wearing a black hood and him toying with his victims while watching them on TV monitors. And since it didn’t want to copy SAW to a T (or an A) it tossed most of the booby-trap angle out the window and instead embraced a clumsy "lets capitalize on the lead's weaknesses" game that made me want to hurl at how inept it was handled.
You’re trying to tell me that if drugged, kidnapped and then tossed in a spooky room by an utter loon, you’ll hug your Teddy Bear (I’m not kidding) and try to picture yourself with your “ideal lover”! COME ON! I’m supposed to believe that there is “time for heartfelt romance and hot steamy sex” in a dire situation like this? Bullshit! The film's core was either badly executed or it was just a shitty idea plain and simple; no matter; it blew! And what was up with Elisha Cuthbert’s acting here? I usually love the gal but she was totally off in this mess. I was rarely sold on her character’s panic, anger or sadness…it all felt…well…fake. Add to that silly-ass dialogue, a redundant middle block, a twist that I saw coming galaxies away, random plot holes that couldn’t be ignored and a a last block that shamelessly ripped off SCREAM and you get a stinker.
I'll give the film this, it was well shot, displayed a couple of sly bits of creativity that I appreciated (the car garage), Daniel Gillies was on the ball as the "other" victim, the cops’ banter had its moments while the final act did offer up a couple of cheap thrills but on the whole, it just didn’t gel. CAPTIVITY was just a bigger budgeted and highly flawed SAW clone that tried to fool us into thinking that it wasn’t one via bombarding us with "psychological" idiocies. F*ck that noise! Straight to DVD you should go!