Sunday, January 17, 2010


Released: 2008

Reviewed: 1.7.10
Star rating: 4 out of 5

Jason Behr (Eliott), Emma Catherwood (Nim), Joe Ferrara (Blackbeard).

U.S. businessman Eliott is kidnapped overseas by political terrorists who are focused on torturing him for crimes he supposedly committed against their people. Streaming his torture live online as paid entertainment the world watches as Eliott is rendered senseless.

Surprisingly I enjoyed this film quite a bit. On the surface this looks like a simple torture flick but if you think about it a bit the film achieved several things. A kidnap and torture plot, the film is able to evoke feelings of both sympathy and contempt for the kidnappers who are obviously politically oriented, while never letting you know their race or group affiliation. The torture of Eliott also focused so simply yet specifically it was hard to not feel his terror and helplessness. And a nice twist to the plot surprises you just when you think you know what is happening. Even the ending, which many seem to dislike, sent the message that the distance between our daily lives and unbelieveable horror isn't much at all. All of this is even more impressive given the minmalistic sets, backgrounds, and low budget of the film.

Acting was very good from the 3 main characters. Behr delivered more emotion than expected and Ferrara played an excellent, possibly insane, terrorist. Catherwood was good in a very subdued role.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were all minimal and added greatly to the authentic feel of the film. Dialogue and sound were good as were special effects which were mostly gore focused.

Overall this isn't simply a horror film, it is a psychological horror film. If you want mindless gore, go find something else. If you enjoy the psychology of horror, terror, and want a film to think about give this a shot and put it about the middle of your Must See list.

With plenty of graphic violent torture scenes and foul language save this for the oldest teens and above.

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