Captivity‘s credits bill it as “a Russian-American coproduction,” 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. Surprising it took Lionsgate this long to do a decent rip-off of their Saw cash cow, but at least they 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 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 that delivers as promised.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 10, 2007