Named best horror film at Austin’s Fantastic Fest, “Kidnapped” is a technically proficient and aggressively unpleasant suspenser about sadistic home invaders who torment a family of upscale Madrid suburbanites. For those impressed by such things, filmmaker Miguel Angel Vivas displays considerable imagination and industriousness while rising to his self-imposed challenge of unfolding his yarn more or less in real time in a series of a dozen or so extended takes, occasionally employing split-screen visuals to effectively depict simultaneous action. Pic likely won’t sell many tickets, but should serve Vivas well as a calling card.
Yet another entry in a subgenre that dates back to “The Desperate Hours,” “Kidnapped” seldom lets up after three masked hoodlums break into the home shared by middle-aged Jamie (Fernando Cayo) and Marta (Ana Wagener), and their 18-year-old daughter, Isa (Manuela Velles). While one thug drives Jamie to various ATMs to empty out bank accounts, his companions repeatedly threaten the womenfolk. Everything leads to a violent ending that seems, even by genre standards, wrenchingly nihilistic — which, of course, could be a selling point.