Johnny Sweatpants' rating: ****1/2
Crystal Math's rating: ****
JSP: I wouldn’t say that I’m a fan of the home invasion genre, but I will concede that there are several very strong horror movies of that variety. In recent years the French appeared to have cornered the market with High Tension, Inside and Them and the US countered with the cerebral The Strangers. Spain’s Kidnapped follows the same formula of innocent people being attacked in their homes by homicidal killers. In The Strangers the invaders’ motives aren’t revealed while in the French ones I mentioned the motives were reserved for a shocking reveal or plot twist in the end. The motive in Kidnapped is merely money and I would argue that it makes the movie much more realistic and hence more frightening. The family makes several attempts to appeal to the thugs' compassion but they simply have none.
The characters do not always behave the way you think you would or the way you expect them to, but the extreme circumstances make it unfair to judge them. Certain individuals have only split seconds to make decisions that may save the life of (or be responsible for the death of ) their loved ones. As for the ending... ahhh the ending. I shall not spoil. All I will say is that I was initially outraged but the more I let it sink in the more fixated on it I became. Now I'm of the opinion that the ending is perfect.
CM: Ugh! Blergh! Grrrrrghrr... Ok I got that out of my system. Kidnapped falls into the category of Best Movie You Never Want to See Again. From the very first frame (at the top of this review) where a man with a plastic bag over his head runs aimlessly through the forest seeking help, to every hairpin turn in the plot when things could get better and resolve themselves, to the striking denouement that left my jaw on the floor for twenty minutes, Kidnapped does just that to all your sense of security.
A typical middle-class family moves into a new home and all of its members are wrapped up in their own world, their own drama: the mother is trying to coordinate a nice home-cooked meal to share with her family, the rebellious teenage daughter wants to go to a party to see her boyfriend, and the father has too much work to bother conceding with the mother's point of view, so he gives his daughter money and tells her to have fun tonight.
This movie does not drag for one moment! Before long three strange men come a-knockin' on their doorstep. Although all three have the intent to steal every penny the family's got, I found it intriguing the amount of time spent developing each burglar's character, the first of whom just wants to get the money and get out with no problems, the second of whom just wants to have his way with the teenage daughter, and the third of whom seems to have gotten involved with the wrong crowd on the wrong night.
CONCLUSION: JSP and Crystal agree that every movie should end either like Kidnapped or like The Great Outdoors.