While the unimaginatively produced CAPTIVE offers one climactic plot twist for the gullible, experienced armchair detectives will simply be bored by this tale of a widow targeted for her inheritance.
New bride Sam Hoffman's (Erika Eleniak) honeymoon ends when her millionaire hubby Sal Hoffman (Jack Langedijk) is shot to death while retrieving plane tickets she had left at the office. Distraught, she cuts her wrists but is rescued by the cleaning lady.
While Detective Briscoe (Michael Ironside) shuffles theories about the Hoffman homicide, Sam's brother-in-law Joel (Stewart Bick) persuades her to enroll voluntarily in a sanitarium run by Joel's lover Dr. Kossim (Catherine Colvey). Joel's display of concern masks his and Dr. Kossim's plan to kill
her, making it look like suicide, so that they can grab the Hoffman millions she inherited.
Sam defends her roommate Lissy (Adrienne Ironside) from sexual molestation by an orderly, an action that nets her a longer stay at the sanitarium. When Sam escapes with the help of an official pass stolen by Lissy, Dr. Kossim stabs Joel for trying to renege on their deal and frames Sam. Recaptured
and returned to the institution, Sam encounters a homicidal Dr. Kossim. Sam is saved from Kossim by Lissy, who pushes murderous Dr. Kossim out the window. Deducing that Joel and Kossim hatched their plan after Sal's demise, Detective Briscoe realizes that it was Sam who murdered her own husband.
She pays Briscoe off so that she can enjoy life with the vast fortune she has inherited.
Unimpressively photographed, CAPTIVE lacks the essential escapist sheen that might have redeemed its styleless hokum. Most of this movie's sneaky script is transparent from the get-go. First of all, Sam's request that Sal pick up the tickets "she forgot" seems like an obvious ploy from someone
whose character has been established as well-organized. Couple this hard-to-swallow point with the film's repeated depiction of Sal's shooting from the killer's point of view, and the viewer wonders why we never are shown the murderer's face. Strenuously led down the wrong sanitarium corridors,
the viewer feels more manipulated than surprised when Sam turns out to be unworthy of rescue. (Violence, profanity, sexual situations.)
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