Story wise, Kidnapped is pretty familiar: A family moves into a new house and, during its first night there, three ski-masked deviants break in and terrorize them, with a financially minded ulterior motive. So, it’s basically an amalgamation of every movie that’s appeared on this countdown thus far.
But here’s the thing: Director, and co-writer, Miguel Angel Vivas clearly didn’t make Kidnapped to tell an innovative story. Staged as 12 single-take sequences that span 80 minutes, this short and brutal thriller perturbs the senses through technological trickery. Midway into the film, a split-screen effect materializes at the height of a gripping chase sequence, doubling the intensity by showing both the villains’ and victims’ franticness.
Kidnapped truly belongs on this list, however, for its final 15 minutes, which batter one’s head with ultra-violence, yet another interestingly used split-screen, effective gore, and a final shot that’s quite possibly one of the bleakest closing images in cinematic history. Vivas’ punishing flick is a descent into uncompromising domestic grimness—don’t expect to smile for at least ten minutes once it’s over.