Archive: Roland Joffé’s Captivity is one of the nastiest films ever made


Captivity is a vile film directed by none other than Roland Joffé, the man behind The Killing Fields and The Mission. It’s baffling why he decided to take on this nasty, misogynist trash. Those who expect a quality entry into the torture-porn horror sub-genre will be bitterly disappointed.

Having said that, there are some members of the audience who will feel they’ve got their money’s worth: sadists and perverts. Some of the most grisly scenes include a woman having her face burned off, and another girl being force-fed stomach organs and then made to brutally kill her own dog.

The film isn’t bad just because it contains these scenes. It’s the fact that there is no intelligence behind them or narrative justification for them.

The plot is stupid beyond belief. A young successful female model is capture and tortured. She soon discovers she has a friend in the horror chamber – a very pretty young man who is also being terrorised. Of course, because she is, like, totally hot and he is, like, well fit, they of course get it on. As you do, after being viciously tortured.

The final twist will surprise viewers who have lived in a cultural vacuum for the majority of their lives. Those who have seen a film before, or flicked through a crime thriller paperback, will know exactly what is coming. And it really isn’t pretty.

The advertising campaign for the film became famous after it was withdrawn due to pressure from feminist groups. If they thought the posters were sickening, I hate to think what they thought of the film itself.

Captivity (2007), directed by Roland Joffé, is released on blu-ray and DVD in the UK by StudioCanal, Certificate 18. 


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Second year BA Film & English Student. Watches too many films and enjoys good novels.

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