THE CAPTIVE (REVIEW)
Updated: Aug 17, 2021
previously titled ARMISTACE
Dir. Luke Massey
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
Royal Marine A.J (Joseph Morgan) awakes in an isolated building with nothing but his uniform and a bacon sandwich. Upon awaking, and the chime of a clock, he soon realises that this is not home. Attacked by an inhuman being, his skills as a marine are tested to their limit until he awakes and the day begins again. Same house, same uniform, same attack.
Accustoming to the repetition, A.J. prepares himself to escape only to realise there is no escape and as he searches for the reason of his captivity, the reality is much darker than he could ever imagine.
Blending PREDATOR with GROUNDHOG DAY, there’s something that shouldn’t work with THE CAPTIVE. A low budget creature feature that loosely links with the idea of limbo is an abstract idea yet with Morgan’s ability to control the action onscreen with the emotion of a lost soldier getting to grips with his reality. From initial confusion to adapting to the violent repetition of battling inhuman creatures, the development is not only believable but also rollercoaster of emotion. From shock to madness, A.J’s journey and realisation of events is a great example of character building that taken away from the constant fighting, brings something very human to the production.
Luke Massey has written and directed a subtle tale that goes deeper than its marine-versus-alien set piece and despite some outstanding scenes, the show is stolen by Morgan’s performance as a lost marine. At times the alien creatures are genuinely terrifying and their movement is as creepy as any other low budget beast but besides some brutal slaughter and survival, THE CAPTIVE doesn’t bring much horror from its monsters but from its reality and the closing shot is a tribute to the brutality of war.
THE CAPTIVE will not be everyone’s cup of tea but holds its own in a market desperate for something original. Massey plays well with a small budget and uses Morgan to his best throughout. For those who like their horror deeper than it’s first cut will find something rewarding here but others may find it dull. The truth is that THE CAPTIVE is a great piece that echoes the horror of humanity.