Captive (2023) Movie Review – Horror on Tubi
Captive follows a group of 30 something stoners as they break into a mansion to party. Bored with her mundane routine of getting high, watching TV and having sex. Ashley (Scout Taylor-Compton) agrees to join her friends as they spend a weekend in an empty house. While there, they discover a person chained up in the basement. A person who might not actually be entirely what they seem.
Welcome to Knockout Horror. Today we will be reviewing Tubi Original vampire horror movie Captive from 2023. For those of you who don’t know. For the past few weeks we have been covering low budget horror on Tubi. With people kicking greedy streaming services to the curb. We figured it was time to take a look at what some of the free services have to offer. Only, we didn’t want to look at the decent stuff. Oh no, that would be too easy. We wanted to really scrape the bottom of the barrel.
We have been watching the lowest of the low budget. Terrible covers, ridiculous titles, awful plots. That has been the name of the game. While movies like Lexi, The Andy Baker Tape and Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism offered some hope. Things have been on a serious down swing as of late. It’s just awful movie after awful movie after awful movie. I’m starting to think this was a bad idea.
Time To Up The Budget?
Maybe that is the solution. We are wrapping this feature up at 20 movies so that means we only have 4 movies left. We are going to try and make those ones count. With that in mind, we are scrapping most of our rules. We are now going for films with a slightly higher budget. Starting with today’s offering – Captive. It’s starting off promising; this film has a kinda famous person in it… In fact, it has a few kinda famous people in it.. That’s a good thing, right?
My first thought when looking at Captive was “I recognise that name!”. Scout Taylor-Compton… Where have I seen her before? And then I remembered that it was in the first Rob Zombie Halloween movie.. She played Laurie. Something that I thought sucked pretty hard for scream queen Danielle Harris. Who, somehow, managed to have a huge role in Halloween 4 and 5. Yet, despite being the right age for the role, was not offered the part of Laurie in the remake. Instead being reduced to a bit part of the “friend who gets her boobs out”. That sucks, Danielle Harris is awesome! Harris is still acting to this day, though, and has over 100 credits to her name. She’s also something of a horror movie icon, having performed in the genre since her childhood. Which I think is pretty cool.
Scout Taylor-Compton has gone on to be, almost, equally as prolific. With nearly 100 productions on her resume; many of which are also horror. So that is pretty cool as well. Captive also stars a few other actors you may recognise. One of which being Brendan Fehr who you may know as George Waggner in Final Destination. Not me, though. I, embarrassingly, recognised him from some “made for TV” trashy Christmas movies. I should probably hand in my horror card.
On with The Review
Anyways, enough rambling. On with the review. Captive follows a group of 30 something stoners as they break into a mansion to party. Bored with her mundane routine of getting high, watching TV and having sex. Ashley (Scout Taylor-Compton) agrees to join her friends as they spend a weekend in an empty house. While there, they discover a person chained up in the basement. A person who might not actually be entirely what they seem.
This is fairly routine stuff for a horror movie. Despite following the rather ridiculous premise of a group of friends breaking into someone’s house while they are away. Purely so that they can party. Captive plays out much like every other teen horror you have ever seen. People drink, they get high, they discover something spooky and then the claret starts spilling. Only, these aren’t teens. These are people in their mid to late thirties. Which brings me on to my first complaint.
Why Are We So Cringe?
I know that is a word that people hate but it feels appropriate given the topic. Why is millennial horror so damn cringe? And I say this a 90’s kid who is firmly part of the millennial generation. I am getting really tired of watching people who are pushing 40 acting like they are teens. There’s Something Wrong With The Children was fairly guilty of this. But at least they had children and responsibilities. Captive takes it to a whole new level. There is no way on earth these people should be breaking into a mansion and partying. Don’t they all have jobs? Can’t they rent a place? It looks like a few of them probably have teenage children.
Why the hell are millennial movie makers not casting Gen Z actors for these types of films? If movies like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer were made today. The entire cast would consist of 30-something millennial pot heads acting like they don’t have mortgages to pay and kids at home. There is one scene in Captive where a whole bunch of people in their mid-30s party in the house. And all I can think is that these people are really gonna feel it in the morning. Some of them are bound to be due into work in a few hours. That’s without mentioning the ones that will be going through hell when their kids burst through the door at 7am.
The Premise Feels Awkward
The result of this is that Captive’s premise feels awkward from the very get go. From the first conversation that takes place about getting high and watching TV. Right through to the way the movie ends. This entire thing feels like a bunch of people who are way too old to be doing the things they are doing. Acting like a bunch of teens. The cast of Captive should have been way younger. Early to mid 20s at the most.
Can we stop with the stoner horror, as well? Practically every movie I have watched, recently, holds out that olive branch. Desperately hoping to connect with that specific audience. Horror isn’t really counter culture any more and neither is weed. Both are ridiculously mainstream. I would love to see horror writers have to think of different reasons for why people are spending time together other than “getting high”. One dude in this movie whips out a bag of weed on numerous occasions to a chorus of fist bumps and hollering. It’s frat boy stuff with extra lines under the eyes and less hair. Again, cringe.
Just Rather Boring
Aside from all of that, this is just a really boring horror movie. The setup seems, at the least, to offer a few interesting kills and some potentially fun violence. But the movie pushes it aside for the majority of its length. Instead choosing to craft a paper thin story about vampiric transformation and love in your mid 30s. It’s all incredibly tame and incredibly unadventurous. Captive takes no risks at all outside of its clearly inappropriately aged cast.
It’s milquetoast horror with a ton of wasted, dead air. Far more keen to show someone cooking breakfast and getting high than actually trying to entertain the viewer. Things do, eventually, explode in a climax of violence and poorly rendered CG blood. As the movie hopelessly attempts to draw the viewer back in with a more high octane final 15 minutes. But by the time that happens. You will have already mentally checked out and started thinking about something else. As the final twist plays out, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than the hardest of hardcore vampire fans caring.
Which brings me onto my next point. I really don’t know who this movie is aimed at. It has something of a sleepover horror feel. Which suggests it may be aimed at teens. But if that is the case, why didn’t you go with a younger cast? People that teens could relate to rather than people that are the age of their parents. I don’t get it. Captive is like the result of a night of disappointing lovemaking between Twilight and the Maroon 5 song She Will Be Loved. All while Blade watches on in the background rubbing his nipples. It’s just weird, boring, and strangely disconnected.
A Fairly Middling Cast
The cast here is working under some strange conditions. As I have mentioned repeatedly. They are all playing characters that act much younger than they are. Giving everything a distinct feeling of “How do you do, fellow kids?”. This undermines the performances somewhat. It’s weird to see Michael Lovato, receding hairline, heavy crow’s feet and all. Pouting repeatedly and acting like a teenager without feeling like something is off.
Scout Taylor-Compton is a highlight as Ashley. Again, she feels like she is too old to be acting the way her character does. Undermining the entire movie’s premise a bit because her issues feel more like a mid-life crisis than a real problem. But she does a great job. Taylor-Compton has always been an enthusiastic and confident performer. That is still the case and she does really well with some of the later scenes in the movie. I love bad ass women in horror movies and she definitely fits the part. Despite the fact that she is soooo tiny.
Lovato, as Ashley’s boyfriend Luke, pretty much pouts for the entire movie. Bringing nothing to the film at all but I suspect that is more down to the writing than anything. Tasie Lawrence, as Crystal, is way too enthusiastic and every other line is delivered like she is talking to preschoolers. She really needs to dial things back a little. I appreciate her energy and she looked far younger than the rest of the cast. But some of her delivery feels inappropriate for the scenes in question. She also doesn’t do a great job conveying the drama of the situation when the shit hits the fan. Christina Robinson has a brief part and does fine in a bit of a “mean girls” style role. It was nice to see someone age appropriate in the movie.
An Unconvincing Vamp
Cody Frank is utterly unconvincing as vampire Drake. He is a decent looking guy. But his small frame, receding hairline and soft, almost nervous, delivery. Doesn’t support the part of a strong, handsome, vampire at all. He feels awkward and his attempts to seem suave and mysterious actually come across as him looking confused and angry. Frank seems extremely uncomfortable on camera. Both very unsure of himself and lacking in confidence. Even during later scenes where more action is required. He doesn’t bring anything of note to the table. Seeming stiff and wooden in his movements and unfitting of an action star. His lack of facial expressions is a big problem, too.
I actually think Brendan Fehr should have played this role. Despite being older he looks much larger than Cody Frank. Is a far more confident actor and suits the vampire role far better. Fehr is only in the movie briefly but definitely feels a cut above most of the other cast. His line delivery is excellent and he seems to get the fantasy aspect of the movie a lot more than Frank does. He brings an old school horror campiness to his character that this movie is just crying out for. Everyone else was playing characters a decade or so younger than they are. Why not Fehr, as well?
Final Thoughts and Score
Captive is one of those weird movies to review. It isn’t overly offensive and isn’t a particularly difficult watch. Hell, it might even fill the role as a sleepover horror or something to throw on when you are stuck for options. But it is also a really difficult movie to recommend. The mid-30s cast feels utterly out of place for a group of stoners breaking into a mansion to party. And I say that as a millennial, myself. Could we really not have cast some Gen Z actors? The movie doesn’t feature anything in the way of scares. It is extremely boring for much of its length. And it is far too willing to resort to scenes of people getting high rather than crafting actual compelling horror cinema. It’s just extremely meh.
Middling acting outside of a few performances leaves little to chew on. The action has no bite and the dull plot will leave you yawning. Outside of Scout Taylor-Compton’s performance and some fairly light horror thrills. There is no real reason to unlock Captive from it’s shackles. It’s a boring horror movie that may appeal to non-horror fans. Fans of light romance and people who are desperate for more vampire stuff. Everyone else will likely be left wanting.
Thanks for reading. This was a long one, as usual, but that’s kinda what I do. I write way too much and go way too into detail about horror. Whether it is good or bad. If that is your kind of thing then you should probably stick around. Especially if you are looking for a site that does things a bit differently. Why not read some more horror reviews? I also put together Horror Movie Lists and spend way too long explaining horror movie endings.