You wonder if people will ever learn any lessons when travelling from A to B, always take the busiest route/popular route even if it means a longer journey. Temptation is everywhere and even the notion of taking what looks a certain shorter journey down some back of nowhere country road looks really tempting, that short cut is more likely a short cut to your death! This scenario is the perfect storyline into Torture Porn, a sub-genre our French cousins have got a big foot in, so is Caged (or Captifs its proper French title)the latest edition to the burstling genre?
Carole (Zoe Felix) is an young nurse working as part of a humanitarian group working in eastern Europe along with her fellow French compadres Samir(Arie Elmaleh), Mathias (eric savin). There time is now over and the three start to make the long journey back home by road and a few hours into there journey they come across a roadblock. After been iformed by several soldiers it could take up to several hours minimum to re-open the trio notice the classic back & beyond country detour which they decide to take after much debate. So now there on the way again out of nowhere the car gets hijacked by two masked men who bang them in the back of there van, then gas them with the trio wakening up in a cage and with no idea why they’ve been captured.As the trio attempt to piece together why there captives, is it ransom? is it something more sinister? They soon discover there fate when the 2 kidnappers now unmasked come into the cells to answer the ringing phone who then tke away one of the captives only to reappear with the captive now dead with his insides ripped out, there gracious hosts are Organ harvesters!
So you maybe thinking Caged is another adition to the Torture Porn sub genre? The answer is No. Director Gozlan does include a little torture but Caged takes the pyschological route using camera tricks to get into the pysche of the characters especially Carol as we see herrocking back and forward with the camera virtually in her face. With the action & suspence so far between been in her face every minutes gets a bit too much though he mkes up for it when the camera becomes Carols eyes instead, seeing what she sees, be disorientated with her and we even relive her childhood knightmare and why she’s terrified of dogs as the flashbacks show her sister (or close childhood friend) be killed by a rabid dog , which then torments her whilst trapped in a car. But overcoming the dogs in the cell it show us how stong willed and determined she is to escape.
Dont expect the viseceral gore you expect from torture porn flicks as you’ll be disappointed as Caged is what you could call pyschological torture, as the captives are tortured by sounds, emotions and Gozlan dones this with great perfection as he build the tone of the movie with the use of the phone bringing fear to the captives as they know someone is next. As for the story in general its basic stuff here which at times people will find boring but with the odd phone ring here and then keeps the interest going as we’re eager to see what actually happens when they harvest though the final third makes up for it as the ante is raised.
There is a few strong performances especially Felix and maybe if we had a few gore moments Caged could have been a lot more exciting but lets get one thing straight , this is not the worse movie in the world,it had its moments as well as plenty of wholes in the story too. Caged is a short movie (only 80 minutes long) but when you look at the horror/torture porn genre the movie is alot better than alot of its American counterparts who seem to be clogging up the horror scene with sub standard mediorcity, theres really only thing I can think worse than watching Caged that’s watching a M.Night Shayamalan movie!
movie rating: 3/5