Captivity has no special place in the newfound lineage of post-modern torture flicks: It still hates women (although the heroine factor is anted-up) and the methods of dispatch are still rather lacking in passion (although they're a bit more innovative here). Usually, a film like this would pass under the radar, pick up a few bucks, and eventually spawn a straight-to-DVD sequel starring run-offs from Laguna Beach. This squeamish squirm has a few differences in its DNA, however.
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The brainchild of writer/producer/director Larry Cohen, 1974's It's Alive! is a horror film on the cusp of old and new traditions in its genre. What's old-fashioned about it is its classic plotting: The monster escalates his mayhem as the authorities move in on him, the audience meanwhile getting clearer and clearer glimpses of the evil-doer's physical shape until it's revealed in its entirety only near the very end. What's new about it ("new" in the sense that it came after The Exorcist and similarly intense films had prepped audiences for ever more explicit carnage) is its (then) unblinking presentation of gore. Critic Quentin Crisp, who was something of a debauched sophisticate, no doubt intended a measure of irony when he called It's Alive! "the best horror film ever," but the picture has its virtues.
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