Captivity

Starring Elisha Cuthbert, Daniel Gillies and Pruitt Taylor Vince. Directed by Roland Joffe
Running Time: 96 mins
Rated: Rated MA 15+ (strong violence, blood and gore)

This is a nasty film experience.

Most audiences will want to leave fairly early in the film. Elissa Cuthbert plays a model who is abducted and subjected to unrelenting torture by a masked figure for half the running time. By the time that some more interesting elements and twists come into the film, it is too late. Most audiences will have given up. Only die-hard horror fans (who proclaim their views on the IMDb blog) have positive things to say about Captivity.

Its career in US release was dogged by controversy when a series of large hoardings in Los Angeles showing the steps in the model's captivity were considered too graphic and were removed.

The main surprise is that the film (a US co-production with Mosfilms, Moscow, and intended as a groundbreaker in collaboration) was directed by Roland Joffe who had begun his career with The Killing Fields and The Mission. We are a long, long way from those achievements despite the publicity for the film constantly referring to his being a man 'of vision and profound philosophy'. He gives the film a glossy treatment and style but to little avail.

At one stage, the man in captivity with the model calls out (ironically as it turns out) to the tormenter, 'you twisted sicko freak' - and one wonders was he referring to the makers - or even to us in the audience watching.

Village Roadshow Out 8th May

Fr Peter Malone MSC directs the film desk of SIGNIS: the World Association of Catholic Communicators, and is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.

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