Topic: Why I didn't like Captivity

Well, I finally saw Captivity yesterday. I knew that it was directed by Roland Joffe (an Oscar nominee responsible for The Killing Fields and The Mission) and co-written by Larry Cohen (cult '70s horror filmmaker responsible for the It's Alive films, Q: The Winged Serpent, God Told Me To, The Stuff, and more recently co-writer of more mainstream thrillers Phone Booth and Cellular), so already I was rather impressed with its pedigree. But I was also aware of the controversy accompanying the film, and about how the studio, After Dark Pictures, apparently decided to cash in on the success of Hostel and the Saw films and added some additional scenes of gore and torture. There was apparently some hue and cry about the poster artwork as well.

So how is the film, you ask? Well, I have to say that there probably is a genuinely unnerving, halfway-decent thriller somewhere in this mess struggling to get out, involving a famous and pampered fashion model (played by Elisha Cuthbert) who's kidnapped, locked in a room somewhere, and put through tormenting mind games by her mysterious abductor. But that film is totally deformed and undercut by the studio's cynical and shameless attempt at pandering to the "extreme" horror crowd. Additional scenes involve Cuthbert being strapped down while the kidnapper mixes a disgusting cocktail of human organs, including an eye and an ear, in a blender and then forces her to drink it, a shameless fake-out involving an exhibited video-recording featuring another victim's face being burned by acid, and a totally uncalled-for scene involving the Cuthbert character's pet dog! yikes

Mind you, I have absolutely no problem with the use of torture or gore in movies, provided that it's organic and integral to the film, which I do believe to be the case with movies like the Hostel and Saw pictures (or, going back even further, the Lucio Fulci zombie films). I also have no problem with torture or gore in, let's say, gangster movies or war movies, because those things sometimes are a major part of what goes on in those particular situations. But just imagine some studio executive taking a look at the final cut of some picture about World War II or Vietnam or something and then saying, "Well, you've got a really good movie here, guys, but you know something? It's just not violent enough! Hey, I know what we need! How about a close-up of a soldier getting his head just totally blasted open and his brains splattered all over the place so you can see daylight shining through whatever's left!" Or perhaps, "You know something? When the American soldiers are captured and taken to the enemy POW camp, during the torture scene, you know what would really get the audiences roaring?? If during the interrogation, the enemy officers shove live hand grenades up the Americans' a--es - with hilarious results!"

Okay, granted, that probably would never happen in quite such a circumstance. Horror movies are certainly far more of an exploitation genre than war movies. And anyway, the brave deeds of brave men and women in uniform are probably considered sacrosanct, even by the most callous of studio suits, and so there probably would never be any real tampering on such a scale. (Although, who knows, I could be wrong!) But the bottom line is, you shouldn't try to take a perfectly good (or even just passable) film and try to make it into something it's not for the sake of upping the box office take. Actually, the aforementioned scene involving the force-feeding of pureed organs is a rather good metaphor for the studio's attitude toward us horror moviegoers. "Hey, why don't we throw in a scene where the girl is strapped down and force-fed a cocktail of human organs?! You know that all those sick freaks out there are just totally gonna dig that! Hey, whaddayawant? That's entertainment! To each his own, you know, let's not judge!" (And if you want to extend the metaphor even further, you could even say that those organs and stuff are actually preserved leftovers from the Slovakian factory in Hostel, or maybe even from the unfortunate souls who failed to escape from Jigsaw's traps in Saw - or maybe even from a Slovakian factory owned and operated by Jigsaw! tongue In other words...reheated leftovers!)

Hey, sorry, but this particular sick freak is just a little bit more particular than that, and I'm just not buying it. I can see right through that particular ruse.

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

well written. you should write some more reviews on your MyMorgueSpace.

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

Yeah, man.  Try your hand at a review.  You'd be really good at it.

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

I third that!!

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

hybrid moments wrote:

well written. you should write some more reviews on your MyMorgueSpace.

Under your user name, click mymorguespace, and you can submit reviews smile They edit here (not to cut out opinion) so it fits in like a brought thing.

Thanks for the review, well worth reading imho.

Sorry edit: Forgot to mention you wont be flamed for your opinion. Love this site for that attitude smile

Last edited by Jethro (2007-07-20 07:24:08)

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

Unnecessary gore is what is it, well… unnecessary.

Great review, thank you.

Last edited by schizophrenicpenguin (2007-07-22 15:46:26)

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

great post darth i would submit it as a review as well.

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

Thanks for the compliments! I just posted it on MyMorgueSpace just now. But there's just one problem: Somehow, it failed to put the proper words in boldface and italics! sad Now my review is spiced with [b]'s and [/i]'s all over the place. Can I somehow correct this?!

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

I don't think the reviews can register BBCode.

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

I see. neutral Well, is there anyway I can edit or correct my own reviews on MyMorgueSpace...?

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

I think you can edit your own review.  If not, you can have a MOD or an admin do it for you.

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

Looks like Meh or Goon already fixed it for ya.

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

Problem solved.  wink

14

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

yeah i went in by and and removed the bbcode. we dont support bbcode in the reviews.

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

me, too

i don't like him as well

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

Who don't you like?  hmm

17

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

i ont understand this you dont like him. Who is him? The director?

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

I think there was some confussion and CiCi thought that bbcode was a person. I don't know just tryin to help.

But yeah that was a pretty good post, not tryin to sound like an ass but alot of times if I see a long post I kinda skim and skan get what I want and get out. I read this one all the way through though, pretty good.

Re: Why I didn't like Captivity

Well i liked the movie alot. I thought it was good from start to finish. And BTW: If you haven't checked out my review here it is:

http://www.horror-movies.ca/horror_reviews_2604.htm