Caged (2010)
By: Rip on August 29, 2012  | 
Icon | Region 4, PAL | 2.35:1 (16:9 enhanced) | French DD 5.1 | 79 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Yann Gozlan
Starring: Zoe Felix, Eric Savin, Arie Elmaleh, Ivan Franek, Igor Skreblin
Screenplay: Yann Gozlan
Country: France
Original Title: Captifs
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Over the last few years, we've seen a flood of brilliantly intense horror films from France, many of which have made quite a mark on the genre, such as High Tension, Martyrs, Them and especially Inside. There's also been a number of fairly decent ones that have slipped through the cracks, the likes of Mutants, The Ordeal and this 2010 Screamfest Award winner, Caged, aka Captifs.

Carole (Zoe Felix) is a young nurse working in Eastern Europe. After working for three months as part of a humanitarian aid group, she heads home with her fellow medical colleagues Samir (Arié Elmaleh) and Mathias (Eric Savin). The three take a detour when the main road is blocked, and on a secluded back road they're hijacked by a gang of mysterious Slavic men, thrown into the back of a van and gassed. When they wake up, they find themselves locked in cages, unaware of what fate awaits them. Whenever a phone rings, someone is dragged off, later to be wheeled back past the other captives, minus their internal organs. Finally, only Carole remains, and after a misguided attempt at escape, Caged kicks in to gear and really takes off.

The whole organ-harvesting thing is nothing we haven't seen before, but to his credit, first time director Yann Gozlan pulls it all off with great style and intensity, eliciting great performances from all his actors, particularly sexy Zoe Felix as the tough and strong-willed, Carole.

The whole film is very well made, featuring some excellent cinematography and especially terrific sound design. Though there is some strong violence and bloody moments, Caged isn't that graphic, so gorehounds may want to seek their fix elsewhere. But director Gozlan obviously knows how to do suspense and I particularly liked how the villains' dialogue wasn't translated on-screen, making our characters' situation all that more frightening.

Caged is no classic, and never reaches the heights of the aformentioned Inside or Martyrs, but for a solid and sometimes horrific trip, it does the job very nicely.
Icon Home Entertainment's DVD in R4 might be a barebones affair, but it features a lovely SD transfer. Framed at 2:351, detail is good, even in the film's many dark scenes. Contrast is excellent, with no edge enhancement or any other video nasties, and the limited colour palette is nicely reproduced.
A very atmospheric 5.1 French language mix only, with non-removable English subtitles. As mentioned earlier, Caged features a nifty sound design and it's well reproduced here.
Extra Features
Two trailers for other foreign titles and... that's it. Nothing. Nil. Zilch. Not even a trailer for Caged.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
Caged features very strong performances, some rather nice visuals, great sound design and an absolutely riveting finale, and though it's all very basic stuff, the film never outstays its welcome, clocking in at a tight 84 minutes. It might be a 'B' movie import, but in my view, it only serves to remind that even 'basic' French horror flicks are still generally more interesting than their American counterparts. Recommended especially to fans of European thrillers.

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