The Captive, released on DVD in the UK by 101 Films, is known under other names in other places, such as Armistice and Warhouse. So, you might know it as one of those. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s take a look at the film.
Directed by Bristol born Luke Massey, who also co-writes alongside Benjamin Read, The Captive is a horror-thriller with a small cast, headed up by Joseph Morgan (The Originals). Now, my interest was sparked because I am a fan of films in which we have a minimal number of performers, and one of them is stuck in a place, struggling to find a way out. Movies like Buried, Frozen (the sky-life one, not the Disney one), Triangle and others like them have always impressed me. The fight against being confined somewhere has always seemed like a very raw horror concept to me, it’s something that would indeed me frightening, and it never dates as a concept, because it will always be a horrific thing to be a part of.
It is a fairly simple concept on paper, yet with a depth about it that emerges as the film proceeds. We meet our lead character, A.J (Morgan), a soldier who finds himself stuck in a house that he finds himself unable to get out of. Each day, A.J is forced to fight against a supernatural creature, a creature who also finds himself in a similar situation, living a loop (think Groundhog Day meets a fantasy supernatural horror, set in one house). We watch as A.J lives the same day over and over, becoming increasingly frustrated and helpless as it happens. The creatures are trying to kill him, and he can’t escape. That’s it, in a nutshell.
Now, this isn’t a long film, it’s under 90 minutes long, but I do feel like the repetition of the film, which is the core idea here, becomes a bit tiresome after a while, making me wonder if this would have been much more enjoyable as part of a horror anthology, cut down to forty minutes or so. But still, I did enjoy it, and found Morgan’s performance to be very good. He held the film on his shoulders and his performance, showing frustration, confusion, fear and anger, was well done. The effects are okay, and the writing is fine too. I just felt like, by the film’s end, I had reached my limit on the whole thing. Like I said, I think more should have happened here, for it to have comfortable filled its running time, or the film should have been a shorter one.
The 101 release is nice, and the transfer is top quality, plus the physical package, like is commonplace with 101 Films DVD’s, has a nice slipcase, which collectors can enjoy. There is little in terms of features, though it didn’t bother me here, I didn’t really need, or want, to see any, anyway.
It’s one of those films that I would not necessarily recommend people went out of their way to watch, but at the same time it is one I had fun with, and thought the performances were good. The concept has been done before, and much more successfully, but if you come across it, I’d give it a shot, you might have a bit of fun with it too.
The Captive is available, on DVD, from 101 Films, now.