Catch Hell (2014)
Catch Hell (also known as Chained) is a 2014 American thriller film written and directed by Ryan Phillippe. It is the only non-horror film from Twisted Pictures.
- Ryan Phillippe as Reagan Pearce
- Ian Barford as Mike
- Stephen Louis Grush as Junior
- Tig Notaro as Careen
- Russ Russo as Tim
- Jillian Barberie
A faded Hollywood actor is kidnapped and subjected to both physical and psychological torture.
Reagan is shown in his fancy house. He gets in an airplane and flies to Louisiana for a film. The hotel is a bit “normal” even though the receptionist says he will find his suite “very LA.” The suite is a single room with a bathtub in the room. He meets with the director in the lobby of the hotel. He gets interrupted by fans and takes a picture with them. He gets antsy about his director. He heads to the gym to work out. Multiple people are staring at him constantly, in a creepy-esque vibe. He calls his manager not wanting to do the movie. The manager basically says.. “come on, you know you have to.” Cut to the next morning, he walks out of the lobby, a van pulls up. He thinks it's part of the whole scene of being picked up for the movie in a broke-down kind of way. The guys in the van say they're here to take him there. He gets in. They take him out to the middle of nowhere. After a while, he starts to worry – He doesn't know the number to call to check on rehearsal, so he asks. Junior, the front passenger, tells him he'll type in the number for him. Reagan hands him his cell phone, and then Junior doesn't hand it back. He just puts it in his pocket. Reagan laughs and says it's not funny. He asks for it back, but they don't give it to him. They speed up and stop in front of a shack in the middle of nowhere. They pull him out of the van and throw him on the ground. Mike, the driver, punches him in the back of the head, over and over. Reagan obviously passes out. They carry him into the shack. His phone rings back in his hotel room, but he's not here. They can't find him for the movie. Cut back to the shack, Reagan wakes up. His feet are being tied together. His hands are already tied together with chains. They dump out his stuff and walk out of the shack. Reagan realizes his hand chain is also chained to the wall, and he cannot leave. He tries to talk to Mike about ransom, saying he can get him at least a million dollars and no one would ever know what happened. Mike comes in and says he doesn't care about money, take outs a knife and cuts down his face, from his temple down his cheek to his chin. He says his wife is Diana. Reagan says he doesn't know who Diana is. Mike leave the room and comes back with bolt cutters. Reagan asks what those are for. Mike tells him bolt cutters can cut through anything. They can cut through the chains holding him there like twigs. Mike then says he intends to use them to cut something off Reagan that's a lot softer, though. He starts to try to pull off Reagan's pants. Junior walks in and asks what he's doing. Mike says he's going to cut off his balls. Junior tells him not to, because he'll bleed out on the floor, then reminds him he wanted had wanted Reagan to stay alive for a while. Mike then tells Junior to give him the gator thumper. It's basically a stick with a heavy lead/metal head. Mike then takes Reagan's hands and stands on the chain so he can't move his hands and beats his hands with the gator thumper, breaking his hands into a bloody pulp. He then hits Reagan in the head, knocking him unconscious. The camera shows the scene around the shack to be a swamp, with nothing around. Reagan comes to, his hand is bandaged up. Junior is hovering nearby like a weirdo and says “we thought you was dead. You aint moved in a day.” Then gives him an oxy pill for pain. He says the pain will kill him before Mike does, if he doesn't swallow the pill. Mike walks in and tries to get him to remember his wife. Says she worked in wardrobe on one of his movies. Reagan says he doesn't remember, but if he did, he would never knowingly sleep with another guy's wife. Mike asks for his password to his phone. Reagan gives it to him. Mike pulls up the last info on his phone to Diana and makes a comment about he never deletes any of his stuff. He reads back texts to her and gets mad and walks out after throwing the phone hard into Reagan's chest. Junior grabs the phone and finds naked photos of his ex-girlfriend actress and a naked one of Reagan. Mike opens Reagan's laptop and gets the password and gets into it. Scene cuts to night, everyone is asleep except Reagan. Then it's morning. Junior is trying to feed him something. Mike walks in and gets mad that he's trying to feed him. Mike reveals that he sent those naked pictures out to a lot of news sites. Then says it's time to feed the gators, which is where he goes into a room with a hole in the floor and swamp below, and poops through the hole. He types something on twitter about Hollywood and Jews going to f*** themselves, from Reagan's account.
Mike reveals that before he kills him, he wants the world to think he's the biggest POS. He wants to take his entire reputation and everything from him, leaving him with nothing. But first, he's going to re-record Reagan's cell phone voicemail – making Reagan read it out loud, and he better make Mike “believe it”. Reagan reads it to himself and tells him it's weak, no one talks that way. Then he says that if he wants it to sound crazy, he'll make it crazy. He records a message that says “don’t call me anymore, f** off everybody. Especially Kristy, the Jews – praise be the Allah. He will die an enlightened man.”
Cut to the news reporting how crazy Reagan is going and claiming the photo leaks and tweets.
Cuts back to the shack. Mike walks in and tells him he did good with the message, “you should be an actor.” Reveals he used to be a cop. They took his badge a year ago for a domestic abuse charge. Then wants Reagan to tell him the story of how he hooked up with his wife. He tells him he gave her a ride home from work, saw a kitten she was keeping. Then tells him about her scumbag husband who beats her. That he's a POS and takes it out on others. He just listened, and she cried. She led him into the bedroom did stuff, making her orgasm four times. Then tells Mike that she said he could never make her orgasm. Mike snaps, throws him down and tazes him. Reagan tells mike to kill him. Mike says “not yet”.
Mike walks out to leave. Junior pulls up. Mike says “he lost his s*** in there, and he’ll be back tomorrow. He hopes Reagan stays alive until then.” He tells Junior not to get soft on the boy. Mike leaves, with Junior staying behind. Junior walks in. Blood is pooling and leaking through the floor. Junior sees a pool of blood by his face and finds a tooth. It looks like Mike pulls his tooth out of his mouth after tazing him. Junior puts the tooth in his pocket.
Reagan wakes up to a gator inches from his face with Junior on top of it saying he just saved his life. He aint ever seen a gator come all the way inside the shack before. He probably smelled all that blood and heard him thrashing around. Reagan then shoots the gator in the head and drags him out. He put Reagan on a cot and wipes some blood off his mouth from where his tooth was pulled. Junior gets a phone call from Mike. Junior tells him Reagan is still alive.
Cut to Mike in town at a security point.
Cut to Junior skinning a gator. He snorts some cocaine and is out around the woods. Reagan tries to get a knife off the wall, but falls, making noise. Junior hears it and comes in checking on the noise. Reagan just admits he made some, accidentally. Junior just says “mmhmm.”
Reagan asks to piss, and asks him not to make him pee on himself again. Junior agrees, but says he has to keep his hands tied. He unhooks him from the wall. Reagan says he can't walk. Then tells Junior he can't run, even if he wanted to, his legs are messed up and he doesn't even know where they are. Junior agrees, but says if he tries to run, he will snap him down. Junior takes him to the “bathroom” where there's a hole in the floor. Reagan is thinking about jumping through the hole. Instead, he just pees and comes back out to Junior. The phone rings, and Junior say she has to answer. He's trying to get Reagan back on the cot ASAP, so he can answer the phone since Mike is checking in. He gets to it. Reagan asks what Mike's going to do to him. He tries to tell Junior that Mike is crazy. Asks him how he doesn't know Mike won't turn on him and kill him too, since he's the only witness.
Meanwhile, Mike is checking out the publicity that Reagan is getting from all his twitter posts and leaked photos. Mike is laughing hysterically.
Cut to the next day, Junior is grilling gator meat. He comes in and tells Reagan some sun might do him some good. He pulls him outdoors and tells him he'll help him take his shirt off and put sun cream on him. He doesn't, but he goes over to some post in the ground and does some chin ups and looks back over at Reagan, kind of heatedly. Then you hear him masturbating in a room in the house. Phone rings, and Junior comes out to answer it. Reagan is still on the cot outside, chained to it. Mike says he's at work, creating his alibi. He should be back around 1:30am. Junior asks what about his alibi. Mike say she doesn't need one. They hang up.
Mike visits his ex-wife. She tells him he's not supposed to be there. Mike say she feels different. He's not a violent man anymore. She says she'll think about him seeing the kids. She asks for the cat and he grabs the cat off the porch, and hands her to Diana. Diana closes the front door.
Back at the shack, Junior tells Reagan he loves his movies. That he used to be so cool, but he still loves his movies. Junior tells him he must take care of himself to look younger. Reagan tells Junior he looks pretty fit, asks if he works out. Junior is flattered by it.
Cut to the news, they say the photo leaks and tweets may not be what they seem, as there is surveillance of Reagan getting into a van at the hotel, but all his belongings are still in his hotel room. Also, the voicemail he recorded is actually a verbatim quote from a movie he was in where he was a kidnapped soldier. Kristy was the name of his character in that movie. The police are now looking for the van and the whereabouts of Reagan Pierce. They're not sure if it's some sort of code or a suicide threat. Back at the shack, Junior gives Reagan some gator meat. Reagan says it's good. Junior tells him he has a nice smile. Looks like he's flirting a little bit. Reagan picks up on it and asks if he has a girlfriend. Junior says no. Asks if Reagan has a girlfriend. Reagan says no, he just ended things. Then says, maybe it's time for something different. Junior offers him some more gator meat. Reagan says yes. While Junior walks away, Reagan grabs the extra length of his chain and puts it under his leg. Junior asks him if he ever tried it on with a dude. Reagan says if he gets drunk enough he's typically down for whatever. Junior tells him he has some whiskey. He goes to get the whiskey and does a little cocaine. Junior pours some whiskey into his mouth. Reagan says “it’s working already.” Junior says his heart is beating fast. Junior starts kissing his neck. Reagan freaks out and says to get off him. Says he can't. Junior walks away upset. Reagan tries to calm him down. Junior says it's alright, because he roofied his gator stew. “he just has to wait a bit and then he can get him at night.” Reagan starts to feel the effects of the roofie. He passes out. Junior walks over puts his hands in his mouth, getting aroused. He takes off Reagan's pants. He takes off his own pants and is about to rape him when the phone rings. Reagan head-butts him and takes the chain and wraps it around Junior's neck and strangles him. Reagan is taken over by the drug, for real and passes out. Mike tries to call back again, and sees in a google search there's a mystery vehicle they're looking for in connection with Reagan's disappearance. Mike freaks and is driving there and calling over and over. Reagan wakes up to a gator snapping at the legs of Junior. It bites Junior and carries him out the shack. Reagan can see the phone continues to light up with Mike calling. Reagan is able to get the chain off the wall, but can't undo his wrists.
Mike drives to Junior's mom's house asking if Junior's there. Junior's not there. He reveals the road is flooded to the shack and he's going to take a boat. Reagan walks out to a car in the yard. Sees keys in the vehicle. He gets in and tries to turn on the car. It doesn't work.
Mike drives the boat up and gets out. He slips and sees Junior's dead body on the edge of the water. He gets pissed. He goes to the shack and looks around for him in there. There's no lights, so he's walking around with a flashlight. Mike says “oh, he’s outside” after he can't find him in the shack and starts to walk back to the door. He sees Reagan and says he's got him. Reagan says “yeah, you got me.” And shoots him with some sort of spear gun? Mike drops and Reagan takes the gator thumper (lead/metal stick thing) and beats him in the chest til he dies. It cuts to an interview of Reagan, with his arm in a cast where she's asking when did he think he was going to live. He says he didn't at first. Because even though they were both dead, he had to get to a boat, and he knew alligators were around. So he thought to wait until morning. He got in the boat in the morning and was yelling (pretty incognizant) – where fishermen that were out heard him and found him. They carried him to land and got him to a hospital.
He is back at his house and he gets a phone call from his manager saying his interview had amazing views. Everybody wants him in their movies, etc. That night as he's turned off all his lights in his house, he's in bed and he pulls up his emails on his computer. He finds an email from Reginald Hester, Jr. “Two goats in a pepper patch.” The email said “Sorry we met like this, but some things are fun. Hope you like the movie I made, I used your phone for it. Your friend, Junior.” The video shows Reagan on the cot and Junior with the alligator skinned on his back. He dances around the room like an alligator. Junior and Reagan are laughing in the movie. The credits roll.
The film was first announced on July 17, 2014. It was distributed by Entertainment One Films. The trailer was released on July 31, 2014.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 0% based on 6 reviews, with an average rating of 3.81/10. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 40 out of 100, based on 6 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Movie Nation called it "nothing more than the sort of exploitation film that Reagan Pearce has signed onto, in desperation, one that he and we realize will be no game changer for the movie star on screen or the one behind the camera." Slant Magazine awarded it one out of five stars, saying "Phillippe never digs into Pearce as a person, or ponders the solitary nature of the actor's lifestyle, and the effect, which lasts right up until the inevitable and self-serving conclusion in which Pearce's career is resuscitated in the wake of all the media coverage surrounding his disappearance, is that he's kept at a distance from the audience" The New York Times said "But a certain curiosity value arises out of Mr. Phillippe’s coincidental occupation here as a professional actor and a director." We Got This Covered said, "I’m not saying I’ll ever know what it feels like to be scrutinized by every gossipy website and television show, but Catch Hell is a failed attempt to help audiences understand the trials and tribulations of actors forced into an obsessive limelight." The Village Voice was more positive, saying "Catch Hell might not catapult Phillippe back into the spotlight, but as Junior, Grush is by turns ashamed, bashful, and dangerous; he could perhaps do more if given the chance."