Written and directed by Savvas Christou, “Captive” or “Katherine’s Lullaby” is the first feature film of the young Cypriot director, who is a regular of short films. During its various presentations, the film received several awards, including Best Writing, Best Performance, Best Supporting Performance and Best Feature Film at the Horrorhound Film Festival, organized by Zoe Judd, it’s one of the bigger genre specific conventions and film festivals in the US.
The film revolves around the meeting of Lily (played by Tori Kostic), a teenage girl who has run away from his home and his alcoholic father, with Evan (played by William Kircher, known for his role as Bifur in the Hobbit films), a father who has lost touch with reality after the disappearance of his daughter.
Lily will find herself trapped by Evan, and will have to play the role of his daughter Katherine to have a chance to survive and escape.
Through the two characters, the film tackles several very interesting themes. We find in particular the themes of the point of view and the denial of reality with the character of Evan. Themes that can also be found in “Ghostland” (2018) by Pascal Laugier or “The Voices” (2014) by Marjane Satrapi. In order to face a reality that they cannot bear, we find characters who unconsciously decide to alter their vision of the world and the life that surrounds them.
We also find the well-known Stockholm syndrome through the character of Lily, quite common in the cinema, as for example in “V for Vendetta” (2006) by James McTeigue. Indeed, the relationship between Evan and Lily seems to become almost natural, Lily will gradually see in Evan, the first person who has any interest in her, who believes in her, in total opposition to her father whom she fled.
Evan’s behavior, angry and authoritarian, reminds us of Howard’s character, played by John Goodman in the movie “10 Cloverfield Lane” (2016) by Dan Trachtenberg. Throughout the film, we fear that Evan fall into a crisis of violence that would lead to a drama, this fear of the unknown is a real strength of the film.
Alternating between a lack of rhythm and sequences that follow each other too quickly, the first part of the film is not very convincing, but we finally let ourselves be carried away by this thriller which depicts in an interesting way a complex relationship. The performance of the actors is rather good, in particular William Karcher’s, who is really very convincing.
The film enjoys a good writing and a scenario that leaves a constant and diffuse pressure on the spectator, between the attempts to escape and the different twists, “Captive” is therefore a very good thriller.
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