Violence against women in disturbing, incoherent horror.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Captors (aka Alone) is a 2022 horror-thriller in which a victim of human trafficking is forced to confront the traumas of her past. There's horror movie violence, such as characters getting shot and killed with rifles, and creepy horror imagery. There are also disturbing scenes of women tied to beds and screaming while their masked tormentor punches them, screams at them, and lies on top of them. There are moments of implied rape and the implication that the tormentor filmed sex acts with the imprisoned women. A woman's skeleton is found chained to a bed. The landlord verbally harasses the lead character and implies past overdue rent can be forgiven in return for sexual favors. The main character experiences hallucinations brought on through trauma and having her food spiked with psilocybin by her tormentor. She injures her foot; blood is shown. Someone smokes a joint in one scene. Profanity is infrequent ("s--t," "ass").
The movie has a great message
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What's the Story?
In CAPTORS, Alys (Yulia Klass) is struggling to get by 10 years after escaping the traumas she endured as a victim of human trafficking. Without a police report, her therapist can no longer treat her, and her sleazy landlord is threatening to evict her for being six months behind on rent. Her life seems to take a turn for the better when she meets with a lawyer (Michael Paré), who informs her that a recently deceased uncle has bequeathed to her a home in the backwoods of Michigan in his will. Hopeful that this is the change she needs to reset her life, Alys leaves for what she hopes will be her new home. While it looks promising upon arrival, Alys begins to experience unsettling visions and déjà vu. When she finds a DVD with her name on it, she watches it, and makes a horrific discovery about the house and who really owned it. Far from the nearest town in the dead of winter, she learns that the food in the pantry has been spiked with hallucinogens, adding to the already disorienting blur between reality, memory, and fantasy. In order to survive and truly start a new life, Alys must find a way to ensure that her tormentor (Bruce Davison) is actually dead and gone.
Is It Any Good?
This is a horror-thriller with potential that gets lost in the chaos of a poorly executed story and pretentious filmmaking. Captors (aka Alone) is almost a one-woman performance, with most of the conflict between Alys and the human trafficker who traumatized her. This gets lost in an unsuccessful attempt at blurring reality, memory, and fantasy while the character is possibly under the influence of psilocybin spiked in her food and/or the prescription meds given to her by her former therapist. One of the cardinal rules of storytelling is that you need more than one character (or, barring that, a volleyball named Wilson), and without the constant presence of a villain to drive the action, the movie is more or less a bunch of jumbled visions attempting to capture Alys' shattered mental and emotional state.
The lead acting from Yulia Klass isn't as terrible as one might think in low-/no-budget movies like this, but it isn't going to win any awards, either. It's not entirely her fault, as the premise of the story, its corny clichéd catalyst of the "mysterious and never met uncle with a will," and its disjointed execution fail to serve or adequately address human trafficking. In fact, it fails to address much of anything, including the necessity of the most basic fundamentals of telling a story.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about horror-thrillers like Captors. How is this similar to and different from other movies that combine moments of horror with elements of mystery?
How does the movie attempt to raise awareness about the global human trafficking crisis?
Did the violence seem necessary to the story or was it excessive? Why?
- In theaters: October 5, 2020
- On DVD or streaming: May 24, 2022
- Cast: Yulia Klass, Michael Pare, Bruce Davison
- Director: James Cullen Bressack
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Thriller
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: Some disturbing and violent content.
- Last updated: January 27, 2023
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