The Betrayed (DVD)

The Betrayed is an interesting movie that breaks free of a number of assumptions made about its genre; it seamlessly blends together action, suspense, and even a little bit of horror in its hour and a half runtime. Director Amanda Gusack is relatively new to the chair (2000’s The Anniversary and 2005’s In Memoriam are eir other two credits), but the overall film showcases a maturity to Gusack that will do eir well in any other future films that ey may direct.
The film itself starts with Jamie Taylor (played here by Melissa George, whom viewers will likely remember from Alias) getting into a car crash and waking up in a sparsely-adorned warehouse.

The story unfolds with surprise after surprise, whether it be Jamie learning that eir husband is a major player in organized crime, or that ey was kidnapped simply to find out where $40 million of extorted money was stashed. After realizing that Jamie is completely useless in eir current state (injured and drugged up), those that imprisoned eir look to turn eir into a wired snitch, all while holding hostage eir five-year old son.

The atmosphere created for this film is great, blending together strong use of light and shadow with a creepy atmosphere that never completely goes away. The performance turned in here by Melissa George is expectedly good, but one has to look at the rest of the crew. This means that Christian Campbell (Kevin) comes out of virtually nowhere to shock and amaze viewers, while Connor Christopher Lewis easily turns in a Haley Joel Osment-level role as son Michael. Finally, take a look at the interplay between George and eir jailor (Oded Fehr) to see an evolution take place over the course of 98 minutes, further cementing The Betrayed as one seriously good sleeper hit. The cast of The Betrayed do a great job working inside of this environment and taking the film to a higher level. Where there are elements of a number of different genres here, there does not seem to be anything in the way of confusion or muddled messages coming out.
Rating: 7.6/10

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