17 June 2011


Directed by: Miguel Ángel Vivas
Written by: Miguel Ángel Vivas & Javier García
Full credits at IMDb

There's virtuosity to admire and gratuitous violence to abhor in Kidnapped (Secuestrados), a punishing home-invasion thriller from Spain. The story begins with a well-off Madrid family that recently moved to a new house in a gated community. They squabble lovingly: mom (Ana Wagener) wants teenage daughter (Manuela Velles) to spend their first night at home with her parents; dad (The Orphanage's Fernando Cayo) thinks she should be allowed to see her friends. If not particularly original, the family feels real; if not exactly relatable, at least identifiable, the key to any such horror movie, whose success depends upon earning the audience's sympathy. Well, get ready for uncalled for causes for sympathy: as apparent cosmic punishment for mom's refusal to let her little girl grow up, the family's house, that elemental representation of safety, is soon violated by invading Eastern Europeans, who come smashing in like Kool-Aid men, without warning, a true-to-life surprise. Mom should have let her daughter go out! While dad is taken to empty the family's bank accounts at an ATM, the women remain at the house with the other two captors, one of whom has a short temper, a few grams of cocaine, and a propensity for sexual assault.

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