Surprising, visually striking, and thrilling, Tubi’s “Captive” is a fun and fast-paced vampire horror film worth sinking your teeth into.
Vampires are versatile. As horror characters, they’ve expanded far beyond the parameters of their original folklore. Once reanimated corpses repelled by crucifixes, garlic, and holy water who disintegrate in sunlight, they’re sometimes beings who can walk in daylight without fear of religious imagery.
When a new vampire movie pops up, I wonder what the writer will have in store — classic, contemporary, or a combination of both.
I couldn’t resist checking out the Tubi original vampire film Captives after reading the synopsis:
“A group of young partiers breaks into a luxurious upscale house for a weekend bash, but soon realize that the house is more than it seems when they uncover a vampire being held captive in the basement.”
Ashley (Scout Taylor-Compton, Bury the Bride), her boyfriend Luke (Michael Lovato), and her friends (Taise Lawrence, Christina Robinson, Katalina Parrish, Ryan Stajmiger, Alex Gopal, and Timothy Chivalette) decide to break into a lavish home to have a party. They hear strange noises and track them to the basement, where they find a man, Drake (Cody Frank), chained to the floor.
Ashley is the only member of the group who thinks they should free him. Reluctantly, they listen to her. Once upstairs, Drake tells them that the homeowners kidnapped him and are holding him hostage. Is he truly a victim, or is there a justifiable reason for him being chained to the basement floor?
We learn Ashley is not happy in her relationship with Luke. Thus, when the newly freed Drake invites Ashley for a walk, she doesn’t hesitate to accept the invitation. They have a deep conversation about poetry before he reveals he’s a vampire. He then bites Ashley and makes her a vampire, too.
Directed by Greg Simon and written by Travis Seppala, Captive moves at a brisk pace.
The film is entertaining, with strong chemistry between the cast and an engaging visual style.
Taylor-Compton and Frank are standouts in their respective roles.
Taylor-Compton plays vampire Ashley like a woman possessed. In many ways, she’s the classic vampire fledgling, complete with mood swings and personality shifts. At first mild-mannered and unsure, Ashley becomes a snarky, sarcastic, psychotic, and seductive femme fatale. It’s a thrill to watch.
Frank’s Drake is an intriguing mix — a vampire who is charming but isn’t self-loathing. He kills without remorse.
Visually, the film has a dreamlike atmosphere with intermittent collages of vibrant images of blood cells, flames, and sunsets and scenes shot with vibrant red and blue lighting.
The plot seems absurd at first, with a group of adults breaking into someone’s house to host a weekend-long party and finding a vampire in the basement. However, I stuck with it and found it a fun and engaging action horror movie. The story is not predictable and, much to my delight, explodes in chaos.
While over-the-top, Captive has an original twist and a surprise ending that I thoroughly enjoyed.
If you love vampires and want a fresh new film to watch, I recommend this one.