Families Held Hostage
Byon Sep 27, 2012
This Friday’s Chiller TV premiere is Miguel Ángel Vivas’ 2010 flick Kidnapped, which tells the tale of a Madrid, Spain family held hostage inside their own home while three criminals have their way with them. It’s a harrowing image to behold, but certainly not one that horror fans are unaccustomed to. Families held hostage seems to be fairly commonplace in the genre, at least so much so that we had to examine a few for you below.
STRAW DOGS (1971)
Sam Peckinpah’s unflinching 1971 thriller doesn’t exactly hold an entire family hostage, but rather just a husband and wife played by Dustin Hoffman and Susan George. The results, however, are frightening, tense, and downright degrading at times. Straw Dogs is, in my opinion, Peckinpah’s finest work and one that sadly got the remake treatment in 2011.
The excellent 2007 French film Inside’s inclusion on this list is also cheating just a little. No families involved in this one… well, okay, I’m including it because the woman held hostage is pregnant with her unborn child. That’s a family to me! And that’s about all I’ll say about this flick as it’s much better seen with completely fresh eyes.
FUNNY GAMES (1997)
Michael Haneke’s 1997 Funny Games is perhaps the quintessential family-held-hostage film with two guys holding an entire family hostage in their home and treating them to a series of sadistic and truly torturous “games.” It’s surprisingly tame for a film with that description, but it’s still amazingly effective. Haneke remade his own film here in the states in 2007 with Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, and Naomi Watts starring. It’s not bad, but the original is where the real creepiness lies.
PANIC ROOM (2002)
Hey, do you remember when Kristen Stewart was just the really promising actress in that killer David Fincher film. You know, the one with Jodie Foster? Yeah… So do I. Those were the days. At least we have Panic Room on DVD to relive the moment.
THE STRANGERS (2008)
Can you say creepy? I can and it starts with those damn creeptastic masks the hooligans in Bryan Bertino’s surprise 2008 hit The Strangers wear when they decide to break into Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman’s summer home. Those things scared me for weeks. In fact, they still scare me.