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Fantastic Fest 2010: Capone is deeply disturbed by the Spanish home invasion film KIDNAPPED!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here. Well I just got punched in the guy about 50 times, and I loved every minute of it. The latest work from Spanish newcomer Miguel Angel Vivas, who directed and co-wrote with Javier García, is called KIDNAPPED, and it is as raw, tense, tight and brutal a film as I've seen during all of Fantastic Fest. Consisting of a series of long takes using handheld video cameras (although not ridiculously shaky in its execution), KIDNAPPED (the actual Spanish title is SECUESTRADOS, although the subtitles in the screener I watched called the film HOSTAGES) is one of the best home invasion films I've ever seen, if for not other reason than Vivas isn't trying to scare us by having the people who live in the house hide from the invaders. Three masked gunmen come right in the house of this family (mom, dad, 18-year-old daughter), who have only just moved in the same day, and seem to have a routine down about how to rob them. Valuables in a bag, ATM cards and passwords collected, dad goes with one of the criminals to empty out the bank accounts while the others watch over the women. Simple, right? Hardly. I was so engaged with the flow of this film. By keeping edits to a minimum, Vivas makes this ordeal feel like it's unfolding in real time. But like all great plans, life has a way of intervening. The daughter's boyfriend drops by the house, a neighborhood watch cop does as well, one of the kidnappers is snorting coke and is apparently loves it when women fight back while he raping them. The film is far from pleasant, but there's a great deal of skill at play here, some of it subtle and other times explosive and gruesome as hell. The actors playing the family are especially great. Fernando Cayo and Ana Wagener play Jaime and Marta, a seemingly happy couple, perhaps slightly stressed about the move and getting settled. Their only fight is about their daughter Isa (Manuela Velles) playing them off each other when she announces she wants to go out that first evening rather than have a celebratory family dinner. The film shatters the myth that living in a bigger house makes you somehow safe, and it toys with the typical home invasion staple of keeping the kidnappers faces hidden. Each one is eventually revealed and not always with great fanfare. KIDNAPPED is a film that takes a familiar sub-genre of horror and somehow manages to both class it up and degrade it. The occasional use of split screen to show what's going on in two different places (either within rooms of the house or showing us activity in the house and on the road with the father) is never used as a gimmick; it's only brought in to enhance very specific events that I won't spoil. I won't lie, KIDNAPPED is rough at times, but the way director Vivas allowed the action to unfold almost organically is astounding. This is easily one of my favorites of this year's Fantastic Fest.
-- Capone Follow Me On Twitter

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 27, 2010, 3:31 p.m. CST

    I always preferred TREASURE ISLAND.

    by FlickaPoo

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 3:32 p.m. CST


    by detectivesoap

    i hope

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 3:32 p.m. CST

    something identical just happened on Long Island

    by HordePrime

    That being said, what are the filmmakers trying to say with this one? Other than to horrify the audience?

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 3:33 p.m. CST

    never works

    by detectivesoap

    this movie sounda good to me

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Is it me....or is there a trend with Capone's favorite films....

    by Jehovahs_Witness

    ...naw mean?

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 3:34 p.m. CST

    ...I just recently saw [REC] and was pretty blown away...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...apparently the rain in Spain falls mainly on badass little horror flicks.

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 3:37 p.m. CST

    "Punched in the guy"

    by KarlKolchak

    Ouch. I hate when that happens. I walk funny for a couple days.

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 3:54 p.m. CST


    by TrigPalinsBodyDouble

    Oh and a home invasion is not a kidnapping unless the victim is taken from the home.

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 3:54 p.m. CST

    are we on a disturbing movie trend now?

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    didnt read anythin about this, but the past week has been all about rape, graphic violence, and sickos... we need choppah back

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 4:09 p.m. CST

    What the filmmakers are trying to say...

    by johnnyangelheart

    Have guns in your home. Know how to use them. Use them when necessary.

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Capone is disturbed because of all the

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    "dead space."

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Oh yay. Another home invasion/rape flick.

    by djangoilbastardo

    Rape is bad. Mmmmmkay?

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 4:20 p.m. CST

    I have not seen this film but don't you have to wonder...

    by matthooper8

    about the mind of people who make these ultra disturbing films? Beyond intense torture, rape and acts of mega brutality on film. In no way am I trying to take away the rights of anyone to make a sick film. Everyone has and should have the right to make any type of film they want. But have you ever thought about the twisted mind of some of these filmmakers? Let's hope they get their sickness out on film instead of reality.

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Rape eh? WHERE'S BEAKS?!!

    by Stuntcock Mike


  • Sept. 27, 2010, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Another film for the sickos to live out their

    by sweeneydave

    fantasies vicariously. 'Twould be a hellish world indeed if Neverending Story "Bastion" was alive today and wish-shaping the world as he sees fit.

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Can I punch you in the guy and see if you love it?


    I don't even know where the guy is but I'll punch you there if you want.

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 5:27 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack


  • Sept. 27, 2010, 5:35 p.m. CST


    by JRcanReid

    Rapey rape rape

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 6:51 p.m. CST

    "Punched in the guy...

    by -guyinthebackrow

    ... and is apparently loves it when women fight back while he raping them." Capone, your syntax as well as your opinion of this film amaze me.

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Doesn't it hurt when you get punched in the guy?

    by MrMysteryGuest

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 7:01 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 7:36 p.m. CST

    how much does ad space cost here?

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    would like to promote my blog ( here with a ad... im even willn to pay for the "unbiased" reviews

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 8:48 p.m. CST


    by lilygreen

    Hey guys, I'm a sexy girl eagering for a good guy online. Come to view my crazy hot photos and viedos in community called ----------[_www.BlackwhiteFlirts.c o m_]----------by searching username"sexyBritney".

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Speaking of filmmakers who are secretly twisted....

    by Jehovahs_Witness

    ...and may be commit crimes against humanity were it not for films....that's what I feel about Danny Devito. Look at his filmography...specifically the films he's directed. First, there was Throw Momma From the Train...all about Danny trying to murder his mother. Then you had Death to Smoochy...a deranged children's show host trying to kill his competitor. There was Duplex...a couple try to murder their annoying upstairs tenant. And I think Hoffa was about people wanting to kill Hoffa...but I can't be sure since I haven't seen it. And then Devito starred in a film called Drowning Mona a few years back. <p> Seriously...were it not for filmmaking...I'm pretty sure Danny Devito would be a serial killer.

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Oh, and I left out....

    by Jehovahs_Witness

    ...War of the Roses...the second film he directed...about a married couple trying to murder each other.

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 9:21 p.m. CST

    What happened to THE CHOPPAH?

    by slone13

    He get banned? Taking some time off?

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 9:40 p.m. CST

    yea we need choppa back

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    this site is reallly great without him... ps: its opposite day

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 9:45 p.m. CST

    CHOPPAH existed to teach a lesson

    by Jehovahs_Witness

    Like any messiah, he came to show you that these talkbacks are whatever you make them. If you want them to be witty, fun, and exciting, you must make them so. He never meant for you to start worshipping him in his absence, praying for his return. You are meant to follow his lead, and make this place a place worth spending time in. If you cannot do that without CHOPPAH...then you don't deserve him.

  • Sept. 27, 2010, 10:19 p.m. CST


    by MeMyselfAndNy_aaan

    Same story, different film.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 6:31 a.m. CST

    Did yourSTEPDADDY get banned?

    by Jehovahs_Witness

    His posts have vanished. I'll keep an eye out for your reincarnation.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Let me guess

    by Marah123

    There is no hope for our heroes. Everyone dies, tortured to death. Bad guys walk away. I'm so sick of these easy to make, nasty, sadistic, brutal 'horror' movies.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 11:09 a.m. CST

    "Rape, Arson, Murder....and Rape"

    by Damned if I can login

    "You said RAPE twice"<p>"I *like* RAPE."<p>"Haw haw, he'll do!"

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 11:13 a.m. CST

    And another....

    by Damned if I can login

    "I got it! We'll pull a #6 on 'em"<p>"What's a #6?"<p>"That's where we ride into town, a'whuppin and a'whompin ever livin' thing in sight...all except the women."<p>"What do you do to the women?"<p>"Aw, we rape the shit outta them at the #6 daince that nite!"

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Foreign Films

    by loc420

    I respect foreign films but it seems they all follow the same rules as far as shock value. It seems all want to have rape, incest, brutal beating, murders and shit like that. Call me old fashioned but can they just make some good old happy ending movies, not corny but at least something else. I know i sound like a fag but thats all they always film to get a reaction from american audiences.