A darkly comedic spin on a familiar tale, Maggie Kiley’s Caught is an energetic and clever cat-and-mouse thriller revolving around the determination of one woman to preserve the sanctity of her marriage after she finds out she’s been cheated on. Written by Marcy Holland, Caught features a powerful and hilarious performance from True Blood’s Anna Camp and also co-stars Stefanie Scott (Insidious Chapter 3), Amelia Rose Blaire ( True Blood) and Sam Page (Mad Men) as the trio who must endure her madness after things go horribly awry.
Caught’s initial set-up is pretty straightforward; Sabrina (Camp) is a tightly-wound housewife who strives for perfection but discovers that her husband Justin (Page) is sleeping with a younger woman named Allie (Scott), forcing her to take drastic measures. Rather than confront her spouse, Sabrina decides to teach his lover a lesson by kidnapping Allie with the assistance of her sister Paige (Blaire). What starts off as an innocent prank turns into something far more deadly once the troubled homemaker’s plan begins to spiral out of control.
Caught succeeds on many different levels, but Holland’s script certainly stands out as one of the biggest reasons why. Her story is ripe with an awkward yet powerful sense of tension and is so tautly played and she does an effortless job of creating a palpable feeling of dread and uneasiness that builds as things get out of hand. Kiley’s direction of the material is also confidently assured, carefully allowing the story’s mysteries to quietly unfold and smartly giving her talented cast the room they need to find these perfect little moments that ground their characters in reality even while the events around them feel a bit hyper-realistic.
The performances in Caught are universally strong, but the film is truly a showcase for Camp, one of the unsung MVP’s of True Blood. Much like her character from that show, Sarah Newlin, Camp’s Sabrina in Caught is also a long-suffering wife who feels like she needs to have control over all aspects of her life and her marriage. That determination is her greatest undoing in the end after she realizes that there are just some things in life you ultimately can’t control. Camp does a brilliant job of balancing out the humor and heartbreak that makes up Sabrina and her work in the film is nothing short of magnificent. Scott, who I enjoyed in the latest Insidious, also does a great job in the film with a subtle performance that counterbalances Camp’s bubbling lunacy rather nicely.
A wickedly fun cat-and-mouse thriller that has a wonderful sense of intimacy to it, akin to watching a theatrical play (think Clue but with a few less characters), Caught is truly a twisted treat for genre fans. For anyone who enjoyed Camp’s work on True Blood, the film is an absolute cannot-miss as well. Kiley demonstrates a skillful hand as a director with Caught and the entire cast does an effortless job in bring Holland’s blisteringly humorous script to life, ultimately making for a phenomenally manic cinematic experience.
Movie Score: 4/5