Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Had I seen this film earlier, it probably would have been in my list of top 10 horror films of 2011 (it was released stateside last year despite being released in Spain in 2010). Frightening, brutal and all-too-real in a ripped from the headlines sort of way, Kidnapped focuses on a well-to-do family as they suffer through one night of total hell at the hands of masked men who've broken into their home. At first, it seems like they'll get out unscathed if they just listen to the men and their demands. But that notion becomes dispelled as things play out and we're exposed to some incredibly brutal and downright disheartening scenes.
The film begins with a man who's lying on the ground, bound and wearing a plastic bag over his head. At first, we presume him to be dead. But he soon gasps and manages to make it to his feet. What plays to such great effect in this scene is the fact that you're put on edge very early on in the proceedings. You find yourself asking 'What's happened to this man and how did he get there?' Limping along, he comes into contact with a passing motorist who lets him use his cellphone so that he can warn his family. After getting someone on the other end, he realizes that it's much too late.
We proceed on to our main story as a family (mom, dad, and daughter) begins their move into a new home, a large mansion that is located in a gated community. From the looks of it, dad is a successful businessman who has many valuables in his possession including some that he keeps hidden behind a safe. Despite the upscale nature of the family, they are still relate-able. Their first night in the new house, mom and dad want to spend some family time together but the teenage daughter wants nothing to do with them. She'd rather hang out with her friends instead of spending time with dear ol' mom and dad. After all, that's just so lame.
Plans for the evening are quickly derailed as three masked intruders break into the home through a side window. The occupants are rounded up and ordered to sit on the living room couch. The masked men promise that no one will get hurt as long as they do as they're told. The family obliges with their demands, forking over their cellphones and debit cards and pin numbers. After one of the masked men grabs dad and instructs him to drive to the nearest ATM, it seems like the whole ordeal will be over before dinner time.
Things unravel when dad becomes testy with the man who's driven him to the bank and a couple of people stop by the home to check on the family and they get caught up in the madness. First, a young man who's come by the house to pick up the teenage daughter followed then by the gated community's rent-a-cop. Bloodletting takes place after their arrivals but things take a markedly sharp turn for the worst with a vicious rape of the daughter. This action is followed up by a prompt one of retribution as she takes a decoration piece and uses the blunt object to smash her attacker's face in. Our story culminates with dad coming home only to be faced with far more worries. A bloody standoff takes place which will absolutely suck the life out of you.
This isn't a happy one folks. Despite the family's detachment from about 99% of the rest of the population (not trying to make a political reference here, but you get the idea), in all meaningful home invasion flicks, you still want to see the captives make it out alive. Kidnapped is one gut punching film and it will leave you feeling breathless and empty.
Cortez the Killer