American cinema's obsession with torture spawns another celluloid sprog in Captivity, an abduction flick in the same blood-spurting vein as the Saw and Hostel series. Our victim is Jennifer (Elisha Cuthbert), a self-centred young catwalk model kidnapped by a hooded sicko with a penchant for psychological torment. Though less graphically unpleasant than some of its forbears, Captivity nonetheless exudes a nasty odour of misogyny. Director Roland Joffe, who made The Killing Fields, ought to know better than this.
Regular viewers of the TV series 24 will be well accustomed to the sight of Elisha Cuthbert in mortal peril - She's the Penelope Pitstop of 21st century TV. Sadly, there are no gurning terrorists or mountain lions in Captivity, but we still get the dubious pleasure of watching Ms Cuthbert doing her abused'n'terrified routine for a solid 80 minutes. Our villain (Pruitt Taylor Vince) has done his homework, and plays on the captive Jennifer's worst fears - one minute he's buried her in sand, the next he's force-feeding her a nutritious eyeball'n'pancreas smoothie. Worst of all, he compels her to wear increasingly slutty outfits - surely a supermodel's worst nightmare.
"A GRUBBY, EXPLOITATIVE FILM"
Anyway, sooner or later Jennifer discovers that she shares her prison with a drop-dead hunk (Daniel Gillies), and a highy implausible romance blossoms down in the dungeon. You can imagine her parents' reaction: "So, how exactly did you guys meet?" Joffe and his screenwriter Larry Cohen deserve a little credit for pointing up the psychological horrors where they can, but Captivity is still a grubby, exploitative film with an extremely guessable twist and universally dull performances.
Captivity is out in UK cinemas on 22nd June 2007