We aim to revisit the critical reception of Captivity in light of this public controversy, looking at the gendered tensions within considerations of genre, narration and aesthetics. Critics assumed Captivity was an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the torture horror subgenre, and there is evidence that the film-makers inserted scenes of gore throughout the narrative to encourage this affiliation. However, this chapter will consider how the film works as both an example of post-peak torture horror and an interesting precursor to more overtly feminist horror, such as A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) and Raw (2017). This is seen through the aesthetic and narrative centralizing of a knowing conflict between genders, which, while not entirely successful, does uniquely aim to provide commentary on the gender roles which genre criticism of horror has long considered implicit to the genre’s structures and pleasures.
McMurdo, S. and Clayton, W. (2019), "Misogyny or Commentary? Gendered Violence Outside and Inside
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2019, Shellie McMurdo and Wickham Clayton