A torture to sit through

By Gus Bode


Rated: R

Starring: Elisha Cuthbert, Daniel Gillies


Directed by Roland Joff�

Runtime: 85 minutes

The days of Freddie and Jason are long gone. Those were the good old days, the glory days, the days when watching innocent victims get slaughtered and eviscerated was fun. Today, all we have are pale, slack-jawed shells like “Captivity,” whose misguided efforts at horror are frightening only in their anemic inefficacy.

The film follows Jennifer Tree (the blonde and beautiful Elisha Cuthbert), a successful but lonely model whose only friend is her tiny little dog. After sipping a spiked martini, she awakes in the booby-trapped basement of a psychotic serial murderer.

She soon discovers she has company, a fellow prisoner (Daniel Gillies) in an adjacent cell. The two scrape away the crusty paint and, without ever saying a word to each other, fall in love.

After being gassed and drugged, Jennifer finds herself in a series of increasingly compromising situations. Each is a lame attempt by the filmmakers to horrify the viewer, and each fails.

In one scene Jennifer is strapped to a chair with her hands taped to two shotguns. One points at her own head while the other points at her dog, suspended in an iron cage several feet above her. A video screen shows a timer, counting down from 30 seconds.


Cut to Jennifer, screaming! Cut to the dog, yipping! Suspenseful music! Cut to the timer! Cut to the dog, again! Oh my, what’s going to happen? Will she kill the dog, or herself?

Even “Saw” puts this movie to shame. At least it didn’t make you watch a tiny dog explode.

Problem is, the filmmakers have become so caught up trying to brainstorm new “compromising situations” that they’ve lost track of what makes scary movies scary – suspense.

Notwithstanding the terrible plot, watching the movie is an experience akin to being guided through a very bad fifth-grade haunted house. Red and purple lighting saturates everything. Every gimmicky torture situation is like another room-awkward and short-lived.

Roland Joff� has directed such fantastic movies (The Mission, The Killing Fields) that seeing his name on this bombshell only makes it that much more painful. He has filched material from everything from “The Shining” to “Aladdin,” failed to tie together any sort of reasonable plot and brought shame upon himself and everyone he knows.

This movie is a black mark on the “Horror-Porn” genre. Avoid it all costs.

Daily Egyptian writer Justin Leverett can be reached at 536- 3311 ext. 275 or [email protected]