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2 items from 2007


16 July 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

NEW YORK -- A lot of horrific things happen in Saw 4, uh, I mean, Captivity, the new horror flick about a supermodel being terrorized and tortured by a mysterious assailant. The female victim is drugged, gassed, nearly buried alive, forced to shoot her own dog, fed a smoothie consisting of human body parts and, worst of all, made to watch her own media coverage. But for sheer horror, these things pale in comparison to the mostly solitary men in attendance at an early show at a 42nd Street theater, intently staring at the screen as if they were watching a motivational training film as well as the film's end credit (A Roland Joffe film).

What made the esteemed director of The Killing Fields and The Mission stoop to this is anybody's guess. According to a production insider, the film originally was conceived as a dark psychological thriller, but was sent back for reshoots to make it more of a torture porn genre exercise. Considering the recent wan commercial reception for Hostel: Part II, that might have been a miscalculation.

In any case, the end result doesn't even satisfy on its own sleazy terms. Not only does it lack the satirical nihilism of the Hostel films or the admittedly clever torture machinations of the "Saw" series, it doesn't even provide its target young male audience with the requisite nudity.

Elisha Cuthbert, in only marginally more danger here than she was as Jack Bauer's perpetually unlucky daughter on Fox's "24," stars as Jennifer, a Manhattan supermodel who has her apple martini spiked one night while out clubbing. Waking up in a dark dungeon, she is subjected to a series of increasingly elaborate mind games exploiting the fears she has expressed in interviews. Just as she's about to go over the edge, she discovers a fellow prisoner, Gary (Daniel Gillies), a young man who actually matches her in the hotness department. Terror being a natural aphrodisiac, it isn't long before these two crazy kids wind up between the sheets.

Relatively straightforward up to that point, Larry Cohen and Joseph Tura's screenplay thereafter introduces twisty plot developments, but it's too little, too late.

Shot in a Moscow studio by a mostly Russian crew, the film compares well to similar genre films in all technical departments. It bears no visual indication of slumming on the part of its esteemed director, and Marco Beltrami's musical score is typically first rate. But it's a sad state of affairs when one of our most talented filmmakers is reduced to this level.


Lionsgate Entertainment and After Dark Films

A Foresight Unlimited production


Director: Roland Joffe

Screenwriters: Larry Cohen, Joseph Tura

Producers: Mark Damon, Sergei Konov, Gary Mehlman, Leonid Minkovski

Executive producer: Valery Chumak

Director of photography: Daniel Pearl

Production designer: Addis Gadzhiyev

Music: Marco Beltrami

Co-producers: Jill Gatsby, Alexandra Mehlman, Tamara Stuparich de la Barra

Costume designer: Jennifer Marlin

Editor: Richard Nord


Jennifer: Elisha Cuthbert

Gary: Daniel Gillies

Ben: Pruitt Taylor Vince

Bettinger: Michael Harney

Di Santos: Laz Alonso

Mary D'Abro: Chrysta Olson

Victim #1: Carl Paoli

Victim #2: Trent Broin

Running time -- 85 minutes

MPAA rating: R


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Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors

27 June 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- If there is one thing genre fans love more than genre films and magazines that report on genre films, it’s genre-focused conventions (“cons” for short, i.e. “Comic Con”) – gatherings of fans and industry professionals (and press!). While I’d feel pretty out of place at a Star Wars or Dungeons and Dragons  convention, I will feel right at home this weekend at Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors, coming to the New York area this weekend (June 29 through July 1) by way of Secaucus, NJ. Secaucus is a five to ten minute train ride from Penn Station, and a familiar location to anyone who commutes via rail from NJ to NYC during the week.Fangoria, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the magazine, is the world’s number premiere supplier of horror-related journalism, reporting on films, print, video games, toys, and any other form of media »

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