The purportedly scary Captivity is definitely one that tortures one like Saw and Hostel. But, the cheap sadism here is far less polished than the aforementioned painfully atmospheric pictures. This is after the filmmakers had to trim down the more pervasive elements to avoid the dreaded "NC-17" rating.
Here, Elisha Cuthbert ("24", The Girl Next Door) plays high-profiled model Jennifer grabbed by a sinister stalker (Pruitt Taylor Vince, much better in the unsettling Trapped). This weirdo grosses out Jennifer by locking her in a state-of-the-art celled dungeon. Though the maniac appears to be in control, her contact with the adjoining imprisoned Gary (Daniel Gillies of Spider-Man 2) may lead to a chance to get out of this sick situation.
The script just doesn't have anything going for it, as it's all about the gadgetry that the villain can use against the victims. Besides sedating them with drug cocktails, the most noticeable effect has the unfortunate ones having their space engulfed with sand. A remote control from a computer also probably works on drawers, doors, lights, and, or course, the clandestine roaming cameras. One has difficulty trying to find the meaning in this elaborate insidiousness.
It's awfully hard to get behind the dread-locked Jennifer, and Cuthbert (because of the misogynistic, simplistic script) is unable to deliver any kind of a credible presence. Maybe there is more of a presence from her co-stars, Vince and Gillies, though too sketchy, as the point of view from their characters gradually shifts.
It's hard to fathom that Roland Joffe would take on this genre, kind of an inversion on what Wes Craven did years ago in working with an icon like Meryl Streep. The director of The Killing Fields proves he has little talent here, and with this kind of story many who aren't under its physical and psychological influence will feel violated.