Stockholm Syndrome (2008)

No one escapes!
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Stockholm Syndrome - No one escapes!

Independent horror movie directors are in an idyllic position to take horror to its extremes and Ryan Cavalline definitely delivers a movie that breaks the boundaries of decency to shock and disgust the viewer whilst maintaining a disturbing sense of realism. Often a low budget inspires independent movie-makers to offset the monetary restrictions with slapstick humour or a disjointed montage of irrelevant scenes of violence, Stockholm Syndrome proves that disturbance within the exploitation genre can be achieved with a focused storyline and without the need for a multi-million dollar budget. The everyday setting, the intensity of the situation and the realisation that reality is not too far away can create a severe sense of foreboding greater than any amount of special effects. Not that Stockholm Syndrome skimps on the gore or the violence necessary to make an exploitation movie exploitative and the viewer is subjected to numerous scenes of barbarism making the whole experience a compelling yet revolting episode.

Stockholm Syndrome deals with rural slavery where an underground organization is kidnapping ordinary members of society, breaking them down through relentless beatings and torture, both physical and mental, then reprogramming them to be the submissive slaves for the buyer willing to pay the highest price. The customers are the dregs of society wanting slaves for sexual or just sadistic entertainment, and the slavers are quite willing to sell their goods to this target market and indulge in a bit of sadism themselves.

Whilst hunting for new citizens to undergo the unwilling entrance exam for a new career in slavery, one of the kidnappers is having second thoughts about whether his actions are having a positive impact on society but understanding that this is not the kind of job you can just quit he decides that he will help his partner make just one more slave recruitment then hand in his resignation. Unfortunately road-trippers David and his pregnant wife are in the wrong place at the wrong time and become the next victims of the seedy underworld organization.

What follows is a barrage of brutality towards the unfortunate couple as they attempt to resist their induction into the world of slavery but they soon realise that they have been captured by a truly evil establishment serving the needs of customers with evil intentions. The kidnapper having second thoughts about his career choice soon realises that leaving the organisation will require more than a formal letter and that he shouldn't expect any references from this employer.

There are an abundance of depraved scenes in Stockholm Syndrome including a deranged customers final purchase, the head of the organization demonstrating his power over a mentally broken piece of merchandise and the extraction of the unborn bonus-slave captured in the latest procurement. The scenes are graphic, noisy and drawn out to create an extreme sense of horror enough to perturb the most hardcore horror fan.

Overall this is a well made, well executed exploitation flick which achieves everything that it sets out to achieve with an ending that leaves the viewer with an unsettling feeling that lasts way after the credits have rolled.
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