In Caught an 18 year-old student has an affair with a married man and his wife kidnaps her and keeps her prisoner in the attic. Then things start to go wrong. It seems that when spouses cheat, the wronged member of the marriage seeks revenge.
Written by Marcy Holland, directed by Maggie Kiley and available on Lifetime, airing 2 April, the film is compelling and at a times frustrating to watch. Stephanie Scott is Allie, the track runner who gets caught up in the madness of a jealous wife.
Initially Sabrina (Anna Camp) and her sister Paige (Amelia Rose Blair) kidnap Allie as a particularly vicious prank. Sabrina wants to torture the youngster for awhile and then let her go. Paige is a reluctant partner in crime and campaigns almost incessantly to let Allie go.
Things begin to go wrong when Sabrina’s cheating husband suddenly shows up while Allie is still in the attic. Events spiral out of control as the evening progresses. From the very start, however, the woman cheated on is clearly not normal.
Giggling like a school girl and constantly being reined back by her sister, Sabrina is more than just completely self-centered, she is not very tightly wrapped either. Paige may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but she does lack the homicidal instincts of her married sister.
As the film progresses the stakes are raised repeatedly, with Sabrina never doubting for one moment that she cannot get out of the crater she has dug for herself and sister Paige. She ropes her husband into the proceedings still concerned with what she wants.
Caught is said to be based upon a true story, but the real story apparently dealt with two British teens and a cheating boyfriend. Maggie Kiley keeps the story moving from one disastrous move to the next at a steadily increasing pace.
There are problems with the TV film. For starters, it feels like a made for TV movie, which is interesting as presumably this was originally meant to be theatrical release, but this does not really hurt the entertainment value.
Caught comes close to falling into black comedy, the storyline can be seen as a comedy of errors, but Camp’s portrayal of her character manages to avoid this, but only just. While the performances of the other actors, specifically Scott’s Allie, add a lot to the story as well.
The one “let down” is the cheating husband’s decision to go along with Sabrina’s increasingly outlandish plans. Despite Justin (Sam Page) and his apparent success, he shares too much with Paige, in terms of questionable intelligence. Although to be fair, none of the trio are overly clever which then makes the viewer wonder how they managed to kidnap an 18 year-old.
Overall, Caught works. Allie’s attempts to get away and Paige’s alliance to the kidnap victim keeps the film from falling into outright farce. In the end, the story is believable and while not quite white-knuckle, edge of the seat viewing, it is tense in places.
Caught airs April 2, on Lifetime and available on Digital and On Demand form MarVista Entertainment from April 1. Check it out, it is an interesting tale (although the based on a true story feels a little “Coen-ish”) and worth the effort.