How I do love to see people with no money — at least, not in film-making terms — gang together to make something worthwhile. THE CAPTIVE (otherwise known as ARMISTICE, 101 Films do so love releasing their acquisitions under alternative titles, like a witness protection scheme for suspect cinema) is very stripped back. Joseph Morgan, predominantly known for his role in The Vampire Diaries and its spinoff The Originals, stars as a squaddie trapped in a house, forced to relive the same empty day. He wakes up, finds himself presented with a bacon sandwich, cup of coffee and monstrous beast with designs on doing him in. Once his attacker is slain he has the rest of the day to himself, free to wander the house going increasingly mad. It’s a simple enough idea and that’s to its credit, when you don’t have money to burn it’s best to keep your focus narrow.
Morgan holds our attention, as does Matt Ryan (soon to be TV’s Constantine) seen in flash back as a previous prisoner of the house. Morgan may not always seem likeable but he’s certainly believable and the slow disintegration of his mind is as uncomfortable to watch as it should be.
Tight, suspenseful and with a class that rises above its lack of resources, THE CAPTIVE deserves to put its makers in the direct path of more money and more opportunities. Good for them. I look forward to seeing what they make next.