Cinema/TV, Film Notes

FrightFest review – Captive (2021)

My notes on Captive (2021)

Formerly known as Katherine’s Lullaby – which I slightly prefer, if only because there are about half a dozen other films called Captive – this is a take on the familiar Misery/Collector sub-genre which goes off in unfamiliar ways.  Lily (Tori Kostic), fleeing an abusive stepfather, calls for help at an isolated house in the woods, where widower Evan (William Kircher) greets her as his apparently lost daughter Katharine (Meghan Hanako) – who departed the home in mysterious circumstances.  Not only does Evan exert coercive control on Lily, keeping her isolated, but forces her to follow track star Katharine’s exercise/diet regimen.  Lily struggles, but quickly realises that she has a better shot of getting through this if she reads Katharine’s diaries to perfect the imposture and goes along with even the wildest of her new father’s imaginings.  After all, crazy as Evan is, this isn’t as bad as her own family situation.  It depends a lot on the interplay of Kircher, as one of those insanely reasonable it’s-all-for-your-own-good maniacs, and Kostic, as a girl who refuses to be a victim but might also be crossing a moral line in usurping someone else’s identity while climbing towards self-determination.  Written and directed by Savvas Christou.

Here’s the Frightfest listing.


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