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The Independent Critic

Kaitlyn Johnston, Jasmine Brotzman, Tania Zikos, Ivan Panayotov, Carl Bernzweig, Karen Brown, Linda Schlosser
Jesse Binger, Kaitlyn Johnston
Jesse Binger

 "Captive" Captures Multiple Prizes at Los Angeles Independent Film Festival 
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It may not be a complete surprise that Captive is, in fact, a short film about a woman named Kara (Kaitlyn Johnston) who awakens in a strange setting only to realize that she is being held captive for reasons unknown.

A suspenseful thriller, Captive is already proving to be successful on the indie/underground film festival circuit with prizes at Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards (Best Director, Best Ensemble Cast) and Depth of Field International Film Festival (Award of Merit, Short Films) along with screenings at Cannes Short Film Corner, Big Island Film Festival, and Bare Bones International Film Festival.

The film centers around the layered, complex performance served up by Johnston, to whom we're introduced early on in what feels like are shards of memories or flashbacks or something solid that indicates we're about to experience something traumatic along with her.

Johnston does a nice job of taking the audience along her emotional journey without ever giving too much away, though much of the credit also goes to Jesse Binger for a script that does a compelling yet slowly realized reveal.

Captive is in some ways a rather straightforward thriller, though it does benefit from its fine ensemble cast and Steve Pitre's quality lensing. As a critic who is immersed in the indie world, I'll confess that Captive felt very familiar to me and that familiarity made it difficult to completely surrender to its story. However, for the less frequent moviegoer it will likely be a film embraced for Johnston's emotionally raw performance and an atmosphere that builds the suspense and doesn't let go until just the right moment. For more information on the film, visit its official website linked to in the credits.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic