Co-written by Mapi Piña and Vanessa Soto
Red lips emit sinister whispering into the ears of a captive female character. “Oh Allie…” the lips continuously whisper. The fear emanating from the captive is palpable—a perfect opening to a thriller.
“Caught” throws you into the middle of the storyline —with a kidnapping—and tells you the backstory later. After the opening scene we begin to see the layers of Allie’s life peel away. We learn that the protagonist, Allie (Stefanie Scott) is on her high school’s track team but is kicked off after her coach discovers her grades have been slipping.
The movie proceeds to show us that Allie works after school as a waitress at her mom’s (Mary B. McCann) restaurant, a job she not only detests, but is not particularly skilled at. While her job has its setbacks, the upside was meeting the dapper Mr. Jason (Sam Page) while he was out on a business dinner —an encounter assumed to be a few months prior to Allie’s kidnapping.
On one particular shift Allie goes against her mother’s wishes and leaves work early, practically prancing into the hands of her abductor. We soon discover that there are two abductors: a sister team comprised of Sabrina (Anna Camp) —Jason’s wife, and Paige (Amelia Rose Blair), Sabrina’s sister. As if Allie’s day couldn’t get any worse after getting kicked off her team, she gets snatched by a wife she apparently didn’t know existed and learns that Jason is just another chiseled-face adulterer.
Generally speaking, if you’ve seen one kidnapping-gone-wrong storyline, you’ve pretty much seen them all. One character just wants to teach another a lesson with a harmless prank that goes too far; it’s a genre with very little variation, but screenwriter Marcy Holland shatters those stereotypes in “Caught.”
After tying Allie to a chair in the attic Sabrina bounces through the house with manic glee, spouting lines like “Do you think you could waterboard someone in a Jacuzzi?” The plan quickly goes amiss when Justin (Sam Page) comes home early and Allie kicks her way out of the attic. While a lesser screenplay would drag out this moment until the end of the film, Holland’s writing shakes things up by having the confrontation between all the characters occur within the first act. Thirty minutes into the film, Justin discovers Allie in the house, Allie finds out Justin is married and Justin realizes what Sabrina has done, and having everything out on the table so early on adds a depth to each character’s performance.
In fact, where the film succeeds most is in its character development. Anna Camp’s performance adds dimension to a character that could have easily been played as a flat, vengeful housewife and makes her understandable, almost sympathetic and undeniably hilarious.
Overall, the film has a few suspense-filled scenes, but goes the way of a comedic thriller more than anything and the pacing was sometimes inconsistent. Laughter poured out of the mouths of a few audience members, mainly as a reaction to the difficult-to-believe scenes and the “Did she really just say that?” lines from a few of the characters—mainly Camp.
No spoilers on how it all ends, you’ll definitely want to see this one for yourself.
“Caught” premiered at the LA Film Festival June 12th, 2015
Directed by: Maggie Kiley
Produced by: Jennifer Westin
Written by: Marcy Holland
Starring: Stefanie Scott, Anna Camp, Amelia Rose Blair, Sam Page