Now there are some who oppose the film on moral grounds and some who oppose it on the grounds that it promotes what looks to be some terribly nasty violence against women, and there are those who just oppose it on the fact that it's clear that this manufactured PR hype is all a smokescreen to hide a mediocre movie. Now, granted, nobody expected Oscar material out of this movie, but you do have to wonder how bad a film has to be when the Big Talk turns out to be all about its ad campaign. This campaign, by the way, is also a brilliant bait-and-switch. Apparently those who want to go see the film to watch Elisha Cuthbert get all tortured and killed up will be disappointed; those who are opposed to the film due to the fact that Elisha Cuthbert gets all tortured and killed up may be disappointed but relieved as well because, well, she beats them all and lives in the end.
Did I say that? I sure did. She beats them all and lives in the end. Hello, spoilers! Lionsgate decided to show no respect for its audience and created a wholly needless brouahaha that only served to give a bunch of people high blood pressure and served as an excuse for the the Indignantly Righteous Parent contingent to rise up and bleat how KIDS MIGHT HAVE SEEN THOSE BILLBOARDS!!! KIDS HAVE EYES THAT TAKE IN AND MAKE VISUAL RECOGNITION OF IMAGES BEFORE THEM!!! I CAN'T BLINDFOLD THEM 24/7 YOU KNOW!!!
So if Lionsgate has no respect for its audience or any target audience whatsoever, then I have no respect for them or their film. But I would not go so far as to tear every CAPTIVITY poster down, as I have seen some folks proudly blog about doing. Now that's just not fair. It's not as if somebody isn't going to see the movie because of one absent poster on a subway train. Nope, the only way someone's not going to see the movie is if someone ruins it for them. So if you're still mad at this movie and its portrayal of violence against women, I highly suggest you make, and affix to each movie poster, stickers that read something like this:
ACTUALLY SHE ISN'T THE ONLY ONE IN CAPTIVITY, SHE AND SOME HUNKY CHAUFFEUR GUY GET KIDNAPPED AND TORTURED AND SHE FALLS IN LOVE WITH THE CHAUFFEUR GUY FOR NO REASON AND THEN AFTER THEY HAVE SEX IN A TORTURE CHAMBER BECAUSE NOTHIN SAYS LOVIN LIKE A LITTLE IN-OUT IN A TORTURE CHAMBER, IT TURNS OUT THAT BUM BUM BUM!! THE CHAUFFEUR IS IN ON THE KIDNAPPING ALL ALONG!! AND THEN ELISHA CUTHBERT ESCAPES AND KILLS BOTH THE KIDNAPPER AND THE HUNKY CHAUFFEUR GUY. THE END. YOU'RE WELCOME. NOW YOU CAN USE YOUR TEN BUCKS TO DO SOMETHING MORE CONSTRUCTIVE, LIKE LIGHTING CIGARS OR SOMETHING.Huh. That may require a bigger sticker than you can usually get for cheap at an art supply store. Ok, how's this?
THERE'S ANOTHER CAPTIVE TOO, AND SHE FALLS IN LOVE WITH HIM, BUT SURPRISE, HE'S IN ON IT ALL ALONG. SO SHE ENDS UP KILLING BOTH HIM AND THE KIDNAPPER. THE END. YOU'RE WELCOME.As you can see, the film actually turns out to have a rather empowering ending, but the ends do not justify the means. There's still a lot of gruesome torture going on, and the whole bit about falling in love with one's co-prisoner/captor or whatever just comes as no surprise to anyone. Besides, it's completely gratuitous, and for a movie which was written while sailing the S.S. Gratuitous through the Straits of Needlessness, that's a rather damning accusation. And the slightly misleading "Hey guys, did you like Hostel? Do you like Elisha Cuthbert? Would you like to see Elisha Cuthbert in Hostel?" ad campaign, which backfired only because it was meant to, just wraps the whole package up with a little card that reads "Next time, go straight to DVD."
Now, not one single civilian (mainstream movie reviewers excluded, see) can single-handedly influence ticket sales. And I'm sure those who've torn down the posters have probably felt very good and empowered themselves about the act. But again, I say: If you don't want someone to see a movie, don't remove a single influence. Instead, be a bad influence and ruin it for them. It'll probably make you feel just as good as removing the poster, and you end up reaching far more people than the sight of a poster-less poster holder would.
I have no regrets about this post. Writing spoilers, unprotected spoilers, IN ALL CAPS EVEN is one of the greatest sins someone who loves movies can commit, but the film just threw some major stones at us. I'm just lobbing a pebble or two back.