Take Two

by BEN KROMER & r & & r & Captivity & r & Most of us have had the experience of sitting alone or nearly alone in a movie theater watching a terrific indie/low-budget/foreign movie while the adjacent theaters are packed with people watching the latest mammoth-budget, & uuml;ber-hyped lowest-common-denominator blockbuster hopeful. Which is when we think, "Damn the public -- this is why there are so few good movies."

Watching Captivity was the first time I've had the opposite experience. Sitting there completely alone on opening night while hundreds of people nearby were watching the new Harry Potter movie, I thought, "Dammit, they're having all the fun."

In Captivity, Elisha Cuthbert plays a model who's neither smart or likable. She gets herself drugged, kidnapped and held captive in a cage in someone's basement. Oh, and she occasionally gets tortured.

Well, more than occasionally, since scenes of torture are about all that Captivity has on its little mind. An added problem is that we in the audience -- "we" being entirely hypothetical, since, as far as I know, I'm the only person in Spokane who has watched this flick -- intuitively know that nothing too awful could happen to that annoying girl from 24.

As for the most graphic sequence in Captivity, you could file it under "Cannibalism, Compulsory." It's gross, sure, and if your idea of a horror movie is one yucky scene in the middle of 90 minutes of a non-naked blonde screaming "No, stop, please, arrgh!" than save your money on Captivity and just beat yourself to death with a hammer.

Picture, as I did, the screenwriter of Captivity. This angry, homely guy sits in front of his computer doing his best to think up fun ways to torture all the attractive young women who never gave him the time of day. When he writes something he likes, something that really shows 'em, he celebrates. And if you think that's too off-color, you should know that the big plot twist in the third act, where the killer reveals himself, completely confirms my unpleasant vision of the creation of Captivity.

A pathological hatred of women isn't reason enough to dismiss a movie, since a lot of strong films, horror and otherwise, are full of just that. Dreadful, stupid, unbelievable Friday the 13th moments are a good enough reason, though, so I'll mention that the end of the film features characters miraculously recovering from knives and shotgun blasts to the chest for one or two last, cheap scares. (Rated R)