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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Review: Captive (Katherine's Lullaby)

Director: Savvas Christou

Screenplay: Savvas Christou

Year: 2021

Lily runs away from his house to escape from his abusive father with her boyfriend. During the night, they separate and seeking for help, Lily finds a house where she meets Evan, a delusional man that mistakes her for his daughter who ran away from him, and takes her inside. Now Lily finds herself captive in the house of a man that watches her every step to avoid her escaping.

“Captive”, also known as “Katherine’s Lullaby”, is a psychological thriller written and directed by debuting Savvas Christou. In the vein of this genre, the tension is the star of this movie, which is present since Lily arrives at Evan’s house and remains until the last minute. More interesting still is seeing how Christou offers a new spin in a worn-down held and captive genre and refreshes it. 

Once Lily (Tori Kostic; “Raven’s Home”) gets to Evan’s (William Kircher; “The Hobbit”, “The Axiom”) house, the story turns tense and uncomfortable, as Evan’s character falls in an ambiguous area between mental health patient and psychopath that puts us in the protagonist’s skin and what she must be feeling. A good part of the responsibility for the characters and their dynamics to work falls in the cast, who do a great job in their interpretations and in properly portraying the situations, although, in some parts, the acting becomes a bit stiff. The other motor that allows for the dynamics and tension of the characters to work is the director’s work, who can transmit that discomfort through his characters, story, and work behind the cameras.

In general, I enjoyed “Captive”, but had some issues with the script. To start, the plot itself requires the viewer to relax what it can consider realistic or not, and it wasn’t until I made that shift that I could really get into the plot. Also, the characters make several unrealistic and questionable decisions, far from what someone would do in that situation. The story focuses more on establishing the foundation for the final resolution instead of focusing on being more coherent and credible.

Talking about the final resolution, this is the moment where the movie levels up. The final resolution comes accompanied by a few unexpected plot twists, and I must emphasize the word unexpected. It is not only a plot twist but also a twist on the full captive and held genre, offering an ending as innovative as disturbing. The end is left open and lacking a conclusive ending, but the suspense that the suggestion generates lands well on the tension side, which all in all is one of its strongest weapons. 

“Captive”, also known by the better title “Katherine’s Lullaby”, is a fresh take on the captive person genre. Since the start, it offers a fresh idea, but at the same time requires that the viewers don’t get too demanding about realism. The acting and the tension sink you into the plot, but the last half hour is what takes it to the next level and leads us to turn a blind eye on the issues in its development.

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